My first friend in life is the son of one of my mom’s friends. We’re about a month apart and were pretty close growing up. He was my little “boyfriend” because of it. From sleepovers to getting lost in the local mountains, we had a lot of fun as kids but as we got older, we went to different middle schools and practically different worlds. Looking back though, you knew we weren’t going to be peas in a pod forever. I absolutely loved school and he, well love wasn’t what I’d use to describe his feelings towards education. We definitely grew apart but what’s funny is that we never forget to tell one another happy birthday when the time rolls around. Perhaps because he’s more of a brother than a friend, even though we’re not climbing mountains today and having slumber parties – he’s one of those people I will never shake out of my existence.
We grew apart but that doesn’t mean we had to exit one another’s lives for eternity. That’s the thing, people think that when they no longer have as much in common with someone they have to banish them to the outskirts of their mind. I get that if that friendship turned toxic on both ends – that’s when growing apart calls for serious tumor removal, but if you just don’t like to do the same things anymore, or are running with different crowds now – just put that friendship on a backburner or turn it off and in the attic for awhile. I think that’s really what we do now more than ever thanks to social media in both cases. We either get really dramatic and erase people from “reality” by deleting them off social media, or we just let them live there and not in our actual space because really, I don’t want to hang out with someone who I don’t even care to see on social media. So when you feel yourself growing apart, think of it in two ways – do you want this person out forever or just out of your reality?
When me and my first friend started to go separate ways, I knew I never wanted my life to be without him. I liked to hear updates from my mom about his whereabouts and learn of his latest highs and lows, and he was the same with me. We’re forever friends in that way. We’re friends on Facebook but in real life – we do not cross paths too often, even though he lives behind my mom today. That’s because I feel we both know that our lives just do not mix anymore. He is and has always been more of a wild child than I have and that still rings true today. So while we’ve grown so far apart we’re in separate plots, we keep it real with the kind of friends we want to be. Forever friends but not forever having to be all up in one another’s lives. You can grow apart without being so far that you don’t care about the friend anymore.