“Sweet is the memory of distant friends. Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.” ~Washington Irving
Why is it that the older we seem to get the more and more we miss friendships from days long past?
You know the ones…
The friendships where you felt 100 percent happiness being in their presence.
Where you felt as if you could be your true self—goofy, silly, honest, and real.
Where you would get lost in conversations, imagination, and being fully present in the moment.
Where you went on adventures, told them your secrets, and laughed until your bellies hurt.
They knew you, and you knew them, and it just… clicked.
You swore you would be BFF’s forever, maybe even got one of those adorable half-heart necklaces, but somehow along the journey your paths drifted.
You wonder what happened; but you know what happened. Life happened. They went one way, you went another.
Leaving a sadness in your heart, you may or may not have been aware of at the time, because life simply went on.
You met other friends, classmates, co-workers, acquaintances, and as you began to juggle all things life, career, and family the years passed by.
Until one day, a photo of them pops in your social feed and the floodgates open up as you reminisce on the memories of a simpler time.
Remembering how important that person was to you.
How their friendship helped shape who you are today.
How you truly were 100 percent yourself around them before life experiences dimmed your essence.
You think about how much you miss that person in your life.
About how you wish you hadn’t let the bond of friendship drift as your heart literally hurts.
You think about reaching out to say hi. To tell them how important they were in your life. How grateful you are for the friendship you shared.
That you miss it.
That you miss them.
But you fear it would be weird.
Justifying to yourself:
They are too busy.
They have their own life.
It has been “too long.”
And as your mind talks your heart out of reaching out, you breathe a heavy sigh and keep scrolling.
We have all had these friendships.
And maybe not just one.
At various stages in our lives we have those special friendships that go that ‘next level.’
Whether it was your childhood friends, high school friends, college friends…
There is something about the bond of growing through a time of transition with someone that creates an unshakable foundation.
And it is not until you find yourself lost in the throes of adulting, longing for connection, that true-authentic-next-level connection that you reminisce and reflect on how special those bonds truly were.
Because no one tells you, when you transition into adulthood, parenthood, and midlife how badly you will miss those friendships more than you ever knew was possible.
How creating authentic, soul-connecting friendships seems to be harder than it once was.
And how these special friendships will forever be embedded in your heart.
If you are like most, you may look back and feel some regrets.
Regret for letting those friendships drift.
Regret for not saying the things you wanted to say, or saying the things you wish you didn’t say.
Regret you did not tell them how important they were to you and how they have shaped who you are today.
Regret for not recognizing the specialness of the bond you shared.
But the thing is, it is not too late.
To tell that friend how much they meant to you.
To apologize for something that you may still regret.
To tell them how much you valued them.
To tell them how much you cherished all of the laughs, the trials and tribulations and memories which were made.
Because although you both may have grown separate ways through life, your roots are forever entwined.
So today, I challenge you to choose love.
To choose bravery.
To choose vulnerability.
To choose connection…. re-connection.
If you have a friend who’s been on your mind but have been hesitant to reach out and tell them how much they impacted your life, tag them in this post. Send them a little note. Add them on one of your social media platforms. Reach out and let them know you are thinking of them with no expectations, but simply to share a smile, a memory, a reminder of how much you value them.
For what I would give to have one more conversation with one of my best friends who is no longer here.
To tell her how much I admired her resilience, her dedication, her strong morals.
To tell her I’m sorry for not being a good friend when I was consumed with my inner demons.
To thank her for some of the best memories I could have asked for.
To tell her I valued her friendship, honesty and love more than anything and I only hope my daughter can have a friendship like we had.
To thank her for giving me an empathetic ass kicking when I was in the throes of an eating disorder and binge drinking and saving my life.
“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.” ~Ally Condie