Best Friends....Forever?

I am the type of person that does not view friendships as disposable. I have many "friends" or great acquaintances but only less than a handful of really true great friends. These are the ones that you know you can rely on for support during your toughest times, or the ones that you don't have to hesitate acting yourself in front of. These friends have heard you snort while laughing, have seen you in your most vulnerable state, and have witnessed you humiliate yourself in public and yet they still want to hang out with you. When people talk about their friends starting at a young age, they start using terms like BFF (Best Friends Forever) or friends til the end. As you get older, people tend to put a lot of emphasis on remaining loyal to those same friends. This sounds like a nice idea and all, but how realistic is this?

I do still believe in lifelong friendships for sure. I mean I am living proof that this can exist. I have had the same best friend since I was 12. Rachel and I became best friends almost instantly (after an initial moment of that Jersey judgement that I mentioned in my last post) when she moved into my neighborhood in 7th grade. We technically only lived next to each other for 2 years, but even after my move, our bond never lessened, and our communication never changed. We remained best friends living an hour apart back before there were cellphones. For the last 13 years, we have lived 3000 miles away, and yet nothing has changed. We have managed to stay so close and still talk (actually speak, not text) almost always at least once or twice a week, even 25+ years later. I visited her again last week, just as I did last year and I was so happy to be there. Not one person in this world knows me as well as she does. The stuff that we have endured through our friendship proves to me our relationship can stand the test of time. Through heartache, bad relationships, marriages, pregnancies, and health issues we have both been there for each other no matter what. We are sisters from another mister and soulmates for sure and I realize that this is special and we are not the norm. Because of this, I really value our special connection.

Contrary to my relationship with Rachel, I have many friendships I used to think would last forever. Some dissolved after months, some after years, and some after more than a decade. While this sounds sad, to be honest, the idea of many people being the right fit for you and your friendship throughout many decades is kind of unrealistic. It is a nice thought to still remain great friends with everyone you meet at a young age. Very few though, actually can grow with you as you age and likewise. When you are a child your pool of potential friends is so small. Basically, you have your choice of friends from school, neighbors, family friends etc. It is not a large circuit that you get to pick and choose from. As you get older, you meet more and more new people, candidates for friendship, if you will, and start losing touch with the ones that do not coincide with your personal changes. Instead of clinging to memories that you have from only a decade or more ago, do not feel bad if you drift apart. It is natural. Things change, your priorities change, your beliefs change as you grow into your own. It is okay to become acquaintances instead of friends. It is okay to not put effort into a friendship that is built upon a memory that you share from twenty years ago. This doesn't mean that you don't care for this person anymore, or that you don't like them. It just means that you don't have to pretend to hold onto something that no longer exists. This also doesn't mean that you can't reconnect later either....all it means is that you don't have to pretend to be something that you are not. It is okay to grow and move on. Those people play such an important part in making you the person you are today and they are to be appreciated and remebered as such!

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