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I feel as though everywhere I look in social media, people my age are struggling with their values and how to apply them to their friendships. The friends I have in my life are so important to me, and I make sure they know that. I just thought I'd write something about friendship, the roles my friends have played in my life, and a little about the values I hold in my heart.
If we are friends, all I ask is that you respect my decisions and the things I am passionate about, as well as who or what I choose to love. I am the type of person that firmly believes we all should do what we want with our lives if it makes us happy, and as long as we are not harming anyone else. This means I try so insanely hard to not judge other people, unless they are purposefully making actions to hurt strangers, or the ones close to them.
I will preface this by saying that I do not have any harsh thoughts towards this person, who's actions inspired me to write this piece. Today I discovered that an old best friend of mine lied to me our entire friendship, and never actually approved of my life choices. While this made me upset for a moment, I then remembered that we drifted apart for a reason, and that I am so much happier and free without their presence in my life.
I struggled a lot with my identity and had anxiety about how to be true to myself when I was growing up. I did not make good choices in whom I chose to spend time with. Every friend I had and cherished seemed to forget about me, or they invalidated me when I chose to let a real part of me show. However, at the end of the day, each person in my life has shaped me into who I am today, and I believe I now have developed very strong friendships with incredibly sweet and loving people. I need people who appreciate what I bring to the table, and care about where I am at mentally and emotionally. People who understand that sometimes I am too unwell to take the first step in checking in. People who ask how my day was. People who I connect with immediately, and are honestly just extensions of my soul.
It's not enough to me if you stuck with me through a certain hard time in my life. It's about how you continue to treat me when things are both good and bad. If I'm around you, but don't actually feel you there with me in that moment, and I feel lost and not at home with you, and not free to be the person you claim you want to know... do you really blame me for wanting to part ways?
That being said, I don't expect things to be perfect all the time. However, if there comes a point where I feel mistreated or taken for granted for an extensive period of time, I don't really feel as though that particular relationship is helpful to me anymore.
So, if that old friend, or any old friend, is reading this please know I never wanted to hurt you, and I hope you never wanted to hurt me. Unfortunately, I was hurt in the process of our friendship's development and I felt as though I needed to move on. I don't break off friendships lightly; I was most likely severely damaged by the end. That is not your fault though. I am not saying I never made any mistakes. I do wish you well, and I hope we both learned something for the future.
To anyone reading this, I am in no way advocating for simply giving up on people. If you believe it's a friendship worth fighting for, then do it. Just keep in mind that friends do grow apart; it's a fact of life. If a friend is really meant to stay in your life, they will. Me and one of my best friends right now were best friends in middle school, and we drifted slightly because we went to different high schools. Then, as luck would have it, she moved down the street from me at the end of junior year. We are closer than ever, and if it took that slight separation to strengthen our friendship, then I am so thankful it did because I could not get by without her today.
Things will always work themselves out.