Recently I met up with a friend for coffee—a person whom I really like and respect and share several things in common with, but for various reasons, only get to see every now and then. A now and then that may only occur once a year or so, but still, I consider this person to be a good friend. And so, in the midst of catching up on all of our news, it wasn’t long before they confessed to a friendship that had recently ended, which prompted me to confess about one of my own.
What struck me the most was how disorienting the experience was for us both. I mean, as two adults it’s obviously not the first time either one of us experienced something like that, since it’s safe to say that anyone who's found their way into adulthood has survived their fair share of friendship break-ups. And yet, somehow I still clung to this idea that once I settled down and became a “grown-up” I’d transition into a never ending stream of dinner parties with a permanent guest list—when, in fact, my experience has been anything but.
Since hitting the road at 19 and living in a variety of places, Mykonos and Manhattan among them, I’ve made and left my fair share of friends. As a flight attendant, it wasn’t uncommon to spend a two-day layover in Venice, Italy with a group of other flight attendants I quickly bonded with, only to arrive back in JFK, head our separate ways, and never see each other again. It was something I became used to. It was part of the job description.
But in real life (as opposed to flight attendant life) it’s not always that simple. In my experience, friendships are way more complicated than that, and I freely admit to feeling relief when certain friendships ended, sadness at some, and complete hair-pulling frustration at others—no two break-ups are alike.
While my friend had no idea why their friendship fizzled, I, on the other hand, knew all too well. And while I know how frustrating it is to not have any answers, as a big believer in the law of attraction, (the rule in which like attracts like), I really do think that sometimes we just stop “clicking” with certain people and there’s not much we can do about it.
Back when I was a far more cynical person (yep, I really was!), I attracted cynical friends. When I changed the way I approached the world and took on a much more positive outlook, those cynical friends faded away, and new, more optimistic ones took their place.
And while that’s not to say that I consider my friendships disposable—nothing could be farther from the truth, as I’m still in touch with a core group of people I’ve known for a very long time—I guess what I’m trying to say is that as much as it may hurt when a friendship goes south—I also think it serves as a pretty good barometer of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to end up.
What about you? Have you ever been surprised by the end of a friendship?
Have a good day everyone!