Back when I was young, around ten to eleven years old, I asked my mom who her closest friends were, and among them, who her best friend was. I vaguely remember her going on about so many people but what I remember clearly was her answer when I asked her if she knew what each of them were doing and where they were. Her answer was “I wish I knew.”
That got me thinking. Do adults not have friends? Are they so busy doing adult stuff that they don’t make any friends? Oh boy, that worried me. It was right then and there that I promised myself that I wouldn’t be THAT person, who grew up forgetting their friends. The one who ends up being a busy adult, no way! I went back to school the next day and our whole group, the 13 of us, made that promise that we would forever keep in touch.
And 5 years after high school, I’m glad to say we’re still together! We make sure we meet up atleast once in two/three months and when we meet, we fall back into our old pattern. It’s a blessing, really.
And then there are exceptions. Those friends that I’ve had to let go due to some reason, and those who let go of me. There were quite many, and every time, every single time, when I felt it go wrong, I kept thinking of the promise that I made to myself when I was eleven, and I clung on. I did my best to make it right and reach out but either because of the circumstances or that the person themselves didn’t really care anymore, it didn’t work out.
I tried again a few years later, getting in touch with them and seeing what’s up with them, when it hit me. It felt different. The whole exchange felt new and wrong and that’s when I realized that it’s never going to be the same anymore. It was a sad realization, but I was happy because I found the reason to stop going after them. In fact, last week I said goodbye to one of my very close high school friend. I was very close to him but he ended up trusting the words of other people and not mine, despite everything I’ve done for him. I still try getting in touch with him once in every few months but honestly, I got tired. Really tired. And that’s when I decided that I needed to break my promise.
But my promise is flexible, you see. The beauty of friendship is that, when the old ones go, new ones take their place. Not necessarily filling up the gaping holes left behind, but rather, covering them up with their own beauty. It’s a beautiful thing. And as I grew older, I realized that I had to tweak the promise sometimes. Find the ones worth keeping the promise for.
People change, they move on and you can’t really blame them. I did my part, wholeheartedly, and I’m happy. With this realization, I achieved another level of calm serenity to bring down some turmoil within me.
I’m thankful for the ones who stayed, and to them I still keep my promise.
And to the ones who left, I give you a wasted goodbye, because what’s a goodbye when nothing ever really mattered in the first place?