It’s hard to let go of a friendship, isn’t it? Maybe not. I’m not really even sure if we were ever friends. At one point I thought we were as close as two people could be. But I guess there’s always a cloak draped over us that we can always see, that shields us from ever truly connecting or letting ourselves connect, or keeping that connection for longer than just the time being.
We met when I was at an all-time low point in my life. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get into grad school, my first real YA novel was getting crushed by agents, and I had to quit my job because I just wasn’t happy anymore and I thought a chance of pace would change my pace. So I started working at a Greek restaurant, before a life-changing trip across the country, in order to save money and find happiness. And I confided in you because you seemed to understand more about life than I ever could.
After I went on my trip, we didn’t talk much. I moved on and, for a year and a half we exchanged the casual Facebook message. Until we reconnected when you brought me into another restaurant to work alongside you. From that moment on, we were inseparable. I connected with you in a way that I hadn’t with anybody in a long, long time. There was a level of maturity in our friendship that I hadn’t truly experienced with a new friend, someone I hadn’t grown up with.
We told each other secrets. We supported each other. We were Friends.
I felt like I had a lifelong friend. Until I had to leave the restaurant business behind.
I was lucky enough to hobble together a full time teaching gig between two colleges, my dream job. I was going to teach writing to eager freshman. I had never felt so accomplished before; I never felt like my education was worth anything, that I was worth anything, until I was able to prove myself by proving to myself that I was, in fact, more than capable to teach.
I never felt like you were happy for me, Friend. Instead, I felt embarrassed for having to give my notice. You made me feel like I was abandoning you. So you pushed me away, and I let myself get pushed away because I felt like I had let you down. When I tried to visit you, you would all but ignore me, so I stopped visiting. I tried to make things right again, but I never felt like I was wanted, that I belonged in your universe anymore. You replaced my title at the restaurant, which was to be expected and I hold no ill will because business is business, but you replaced my title in your life; you put trust into the wrong people because they were there and I was not. This was not the same person I connected with, all those years ago, who approached me with wisdom beyond years; this was someone I hardly recognized, someone more interested in social hierarchy and Mean Girls-like status quo than up-keeping a friendship. You chose to believe that I was the enemy, and that the people around you cared more than I did. You became vindictive, even in the smallest of actions, and I let myself get wrapped up in drama that I shouldn’t have gotten involved in.
So I’m letting go.
This isn’t easy, Friend.
You’ll always have a special place in my heart.
I’ll probably miss you for a long time.
But I have to let go.
I’ll choose to remember our friendship for the
good great times, the fun we had, the laughter we shared, the inside jokes, the common love that bonded us together. I won’t remember us by what tore us apart, I’ll remember us by the moment we shared in the darkness of a ballroom, as a rowdy band played mere feet away in the restaurant, and the secrets we let escape our lips in a moment of nerve and nervous excitement because it was there where we became intrinsically linked; that is something I’ll keep sacred, I’ll guard, with my life, because moments like those among true friends are so few and far between.
Letting go is hard. Have you ever had to let go? Sound off below.
It ain’t easy, baby…