I randomly thought about this last night, so I thought I would write about it.
For the most part, I’m not the type of person to have massive fights or end up on bad terms with people. I’ve lost touch with or drifted away from friends, which is normal in life, but not because we have fought or hurt each other. I’ve not spoken to friends for months or even years and then was able to pick right up where we left off, or at least have great conversations and have fun when we do speak or see each other again. We didn’t end up on bad terms and it’s usually not a sudden shift, and it’s always great to hear from each other again. It’s not that I’m not a dramatic person, I’m just not in this area of my life.
But there’s always an exception.
I’m going to keep the details private publicly, even though I know these people will never see this. That might make this kind of frustratingly vague and uninteresting, but I’m writing it anyway.
I was very close friends with someone for years, and virtually overnight, we were no longer friends. We had an exchange that happened over Facebook messaging, of all things, that came as kind of a surprise to me (and in hindsight, it shouldn’t have). It did not end well. I ended up feeling hurt and upset, they ended up feeling hurt and upset, and that was the last time we ever spoke.
We had a mutual friend, also one of my best friends at the time, who kind of glossed over the topic online. But when I spoke to her in person a few months later, she told me I should be the one to reach out to our other friend, even though I wasn’t the one who cut ties. I didn’t think it should have been me. After that day, we spoke normally for a while, but it got to a point where I felt like I was the only one maintaining effort to keep up the friendship or to initiate conversation. We haven’t spoken for a while now, and I can’t help but feel like she chose our other friend’s “side.” I think it wouldn’t be awkward if we bumped into each other randomly, and I hope she feels the same.
Looking back, I’m not going to say I was completely blameless. I think everyone involved–including our mutual friend–could have handled the situation better. I think we could have all been the adults we were and communicated better. It’s fascinating how communication can break down so easily, even between people who you consider your closest friends.
I have so many memories with these people. For the first friend, the one I actually fell out with, I can think of shows and movies we first watched together. I can remember classes we had together. I can remember parties and random hang-outs. I have so many memories from my early twenties tied to this person, to both people, and for a long time, they felt kind of bittersweet. Sometimes they still do.
Even though it’s been years now, I sometimes still think of reaching out. I can’t help it–there’s a part of me that yearns to be liked, that hates being on bad terms with anyone, that wants those memories to be less bittersweet. There’s even a small part of me that wonders if, years later, we could be friends again.
For some strange reason, I actually feel like it would be easier to reach out to the friend I originally fell out with than the mutual friend who ended up drifting away from me. Not logistically–they were notoriously not fond of social media and I suspect that haven’t changed–but emotionally. I almost feel like it would be easier to deal with that situation, where the fact we fell out was clear and where we had such a sudden break from friendship, than to deal with one where I worry I’m imagining things about picking sides and not trying.
Thinking about it now it all feels very dramatic and teenage but the feelings are still real. It still kind of hurts to think about. Friendship is weird. Fights are weird. Time is weird. Your 20’s are weird.
This post is weird.