On 'Growing Up'

Monday, September 14, 2015

"If you're not losing friends, you're not growing up."

To be honest, I'm not sure of the origin of this quote — whether it's from someone famous or whether an average Joe said it to his friend and it somehow spread all over the Internet. Who knows. But I've seen it a lot, and I find a sort of odd comfort in it. Reassurance. It's okay that this happened.

I've lost a fair amount of people over the years. Maybe it was my fault, maybe it was theirs. More than likely it was a little bit of both.

Some people just don't mesh.

Others are just plain mean.

Losing friends is certainly not one of the finer parts of life, but it's one of the most normal, and it does help us grow. There's some truth in the saying. As we get older, we develop into our own person and become our own selves. We figure out what we want and don't want out of life and out of the people we surround ourselves with. We make goals and aspirations. It's rare that you can do all of this while simultaneously being as close to your elementary school friends as you once were. Sometimes it happens, but it's normal if it doesn't.

There's another saying, "Not everyone you lose is a loss."

Some friends I simply grew apart from naturally as I made my way through college. Others had a more abrupt severing of ties.

Some I look back on and think, It's a shame we aren't as close anymore. I hope they're doing well. Others give me a wave of a relief. Thank God that's over.

Some people I miss. Others I know I'm better without. (Sometimes these overlap, which is a particularly unfortunate mix of emotions.)

Some were a loss. Others were not.

These thoughts cross my mind from time to time, but instead of feeling wistful, more often than not I am overcome with great appreciation for all of the lovely people who found their way into my life. There was a time not too long ago that I felt very much alone, betrayed, and hurt. I regretted opening myself up to people just to have it thrown back in my face. But when that door closed (or rather, had been slammed in my face) another one opened. Within one month, I had lost the people I considered myself closest to but also gained new friendships with people I now consider my best friends.

People will hurt you. Sometimes with a reason and other times for no reason at all.

You will lose friends, but you will make more — better ones. Ones that love you, support you, and help you grow.

You will meet people who make you comfortable enough to even use the term "best friend" again.

I am so thankful for the friends that I have today. I hope you all know that.

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