For the Ones That Left (And the Ones I Left Behind)

It hasn’t even been that long since I graduated from college, and I already feel like I’m losing touch with a few people. (I only live a few minutes away from campus and everyone is still around.) But even being in the same school as my friends didn’t always guarantee that we’d stay close anyway. People have been entering and leaving my life since always. That’s just how life seems to go.

I get attached to people really easily. It can be really hard on me to see people go because of this, but pretending I don’t care makes me feel like I’m becoming bitter. And I don’t really like that version of myself either.

So this one is for the people who touched my life but aren’t really an active part of it anymore. Here are a few things I want you to know.

I remember how we met. If I don’t remember the exact moment then I definitely remember why we became friends. You probably know this – especially if I was comfortable enough with you to share exactly how good my memory is and how many tiny details stick with me.

And every now and then I think about you. I wonder what you’re up to and how your life is going. Sometimes I’ll even do a little cyber-stalking. That’s how I’ve found out where you’re working now and whether or not you’re in a relationship. It’s so weird. There was a time when I would’ve been one of the first to know – or at the very least a time when it would’ve come up naturally as we hung out.

Sometimes I ask around about you. We still have a few friends in common, and I try to bring you up casually and find out if anyone else has recently seen you or heard from you. And as happy as I am when things are going well for you, I still wish I were a part of it.

I still have pictures of us. Sometimes I flip through them and remember all the fun times we had together. I remember the spontaneous hangouts, the nights when you comforted me after a bad day, and the days you would text me to see what I was up to before suggesting we go somewhere.

I remember when we started to drift apart. I know people often talk about these kinds of situations saying it’s just a part of life and that people just drift apart. But I remember how it happened. I remember that letting go of the friendship was really hard for me. I remember picking up my phone and almost calling you. And then one day I did, and that wasn’t even your number anymore. Or it was, but I hung up after one ring. I had no idea what to say anymore if you answered.

Sometimes I try to figure out exactly why it was that we drifted so far apart. Sure, I remember the events, but it’s hard to remember the actual reason. We used to be close, and then suddenly we weren’t. What happened? Life, I guess. Sometimes I feel like it’s my fault. In those moments, I often wonder if I can fix it.

There was a moment when I became upset with you as well. It took me a while to let that one go. I want you to know that I don’t hold the loss of our closeness against you. Mainly, I was upset with you because I was disappointed. I invested so much of myself into this friendship. To watch it disintegrate honestly hurt me. But I want you to know that I don’t hold any sort of grudges against you – or against myself – after everything that happened. In fact, I’m happy that you entered my life. And I wish you well.

Maybe this is just a part of life. Maybe it was inevitable that we’d eventually stop talking. We never did have a solid group of friends in common. But it still sucks. Because sometimes you’re exactly the person I want to talk to. But I just want you to know, more than anything, that I was honored to have you in my life, even if didn’t last as long as I’d hoped it would. I want you to know that even now I still wish you the best. And I still hope that someday we can reconnect, even if it’s just for another brief moment.

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