Yesterday, someone I once considered my best friend for more than 15 years got engaged.
I found out from a mutual friend. I thought that this news would have no impact on me as we were no longer friends. But on seeing the picture of the moment, I was overcome with incredible sadness. I wondered if it could have been jealousy, stemming from the fact that I just went through a divorce myself. But I’m currently in a very happy relationship that there is really nothing I could ask for more from. And the more I thought about it, the problem became glaringly obvious. It was because I was observing this moment through a glass window.
These two people who I once really considered just had one of the most important (and stunningly co-ordinated) events happen in their life. Two people who met at my own engagement. Had it been a year ago, she and I would have been gushing about it in our whatsapp group shared with our mutual best friend. But today, I had to hear it from someone else.
And it stung.
The truth is, our friendship has been up and down in the past few years. We both lived very different lives. Of course life has a way of bringing people into and taking people away from you for whatever reason. There was hurt. I misunderstood something and reacted. She did something. I was passive aggressive. We had a huge falling out and we both hurt by it. And so on. The friendship faded. We unfollowed each other on Instagram. We both left the group. I decided to focus on my own life and career and come off social media.
I honestly tried to convince myself. Painted her in a certain light, got other friends to point out reasons why I should just let it go. Let sleeping dogs lie.
But in my heart and my mind I always wanted to reach out. There was always this lump in my throat and a place in my mind where I could apologize without pride and forgive everything in blink of an eye. I just didn’t know how she would have responded and told myself it would have been putting myself out on a limb which would result in my hurt all over again.
I had so many dreams where I was reaching out, that I ignored. The lump in my throat, I ignored.
But yesterday, on seeing the picture, I felt that the lump was inflamed. Surely, something was tugging at me once more and said “All is not lost, reach out.”
And I did.
I did more than reach out to her. I reached out to friends that have always been there for me, who have listened, who have seen me for who I was. My mentors and to my only sister who following an argument, I hadn’t spoken to for a month. I think this is what I really needed to do.
You see, life is too short. Too short for pride, too short for ego, too short for cutting off people who mean something to you because you expected something from them and they expected something from you.
I’ll always remember when my mom passed away, she and her only sister were in the midst of a petty fight and weren’t talking. I told myself I never wanted to be in that position with someone I love.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to end relationships that are not positive for the both of you. For both your sakes the relationships have to run their courses.
In the end, time is not the only factor to forming connections with people. Quality is what matters. And knowing someone for a long period of time does not mean that they know you.
Sometimes people can know you your whole life and not see you..I certainly believe that Its important to appreciate those who do.
But you can meet people and instantly connect. Kindred spirits. A new friend, an older family member, a teacher, an Uber driver, or a childhood friend.
When you are seen, these are the people that you should keep around and not take for granted. These are the ones in your corner, the ones who lift you up when you’re down, who know what you’re about. You can't live your whole life to yourself and not share parts of you by not opening up just because you’re afraid of being judged.
Its definitely a gamble of sorts though. Sometimes you miscalculate and give your trust to the wrong people or even don’t give some the trust they deserve. Unfortunately, that's part of human nature and we can’t all mesh. Sometimes the voice is wrong.
Personally, I've always felt that in those chosen relationships whether platonic or romantic or family, its vital I think to remember that humans come with both good and flawed aspects of character and its really a beautiful thing to be able to accept each other, embrace the good, acknowledge the less than desirable and move forward being there for one another.
The important thing is to clear the air if you can, I don’t believe its ever too late. Go on, bridge the gap and attempt to mend the fences. If you know you should apologize for something then just do it. You have nothing to lose. Even if you don't get the response you had hoped for, you are better off knowing that you tried your best instead of having the "what if" notion festering in the back of your mind.
She replied by the way. We exchanged long messages. Messages of good wishes, apologies and at least, on my end a little more self awareness. We may not be best friends anymore, but we can still full appreciate the common goal at the end of the day- inner peace.
She and I, evidently have varying views on how life should be viewed based on our own different lives and circumstances. I hold nothing against her for this. We wished each other well, removed the bookmark and closed the chapter and continued on with our lives.
Oddly enough the sense of satisfaction achieved from this day was actually came from the other connections I have with people I reached out to who have truly seen me and not what they think they saw. With whom I truly share fulfilling relationships with. And of course re-connecting with my sister, my ultimate soulmate with whom we go from 0 - 100 really fast in terms of how much we love each other most times but then our arguments can also do the same. Every relationship has its uniqueness. But the love is always, always there. Unconditionally.
One thing I think we can all agree on, however, is a simple message: don’t burn bridges for petty or unnecessary reasons if a relationship means something to you.
Pride is temporary. Forgiveness is permanent.