Last night I had a very vivid dream featuring people who are no longer in my life. Whether that be best friends who have become lost names in my mind or boyfriends who are now just fond memories and lessons I have learned. The most adult lesson I have had to learn and accept was the fact that people will come in and out of your life. Not everyone will be a consistent person in your life. The second part of that lesson is that… it is okay. I have people in my life who I might not talk to every single day, but we care about each other just the same. You do not need to see or be in contact with someone every waking moment to be close to them, to know that you are in their hearts. Even if you do not talk to these people anymore, it does not mean that the lessons you have learned from them have been lost.
I do not talk to my old friend, Megan, often anymore. However, when I am out and about experiencing life whether it be a night drive eating fries and listening to music alone or going to a restaurant with a friend, I have learned to be more present and enjoy those moments. To enjoy the laughter something I have said causes, to not question or be insecure about the connection I hold with someone. That lesson I learned and experienced with Megan has not left me since our friendship has dwindled, it stays and fills me with a protective warmth.
One more complex facet of this lesson is someone passing away. I have not had a human pass away in my life yet, but my childhood dog, Tizzy, passed away in March of last year. Tizzy’s death struck a chord with me that had not been touched before. Tizzy’s passing made me feel lonely all over again, like I experienced as a child. I had to come to terms with the fact that it was just her time, and she did not choose to abandon or leave me. Tizzy’s death was a grim reminder that sometimes things will come to an end whether you like it or not. There are many things you could do to give a situation more time, like a crutch or medication, but if it is naturally time for it to end… it will end.
I used to feel a devastating sadness about this concept. People not being as close with each other used to make me sad and fill me with despair. There are just some things and people we must leave behind in order to grow. Even if leaving those people or things behind are hard. It is a part of living a fulfilling life. We adapt and grow from these experiences.
As a result of this one lesson, I have learned that a good friendship will stand through all illusions, struggles, and time without being lost. That friends challenge you to be a better person than you already are, they hold you accountable, they cradle (metaphorically or literally) through a hard time, and they never give up.