When we’re five, six, eight years old, our friendships don’t have many criteria. You like playing with the same toys as I do and love colouring outside the lines? Great! Bestest friends forever. As young tiny children, we collected friends like candy. We had lunch with them during our break time, we played with them during playground time, and we exchanged juice boxes when we didn’t like what our mother had packed for us. Friendship as kids had an aura of innocence around it—long-lasting relationships with no end in sight. You grew up with the same people through elementary, middle, and high school. In middle school, you started developing personalities but your group of friends had become so familiar to you, there was no need to find new ones. You shared new secrets with them and had lots of sleepovers and just as much laughter. But then high school came along and things started changing; your relationships with your friends started wading through deep waters and into this weird realm between friendship and acquaintances.
There are so many reasons why friends just drift apart no matter how strong they think their bond is. One is that personalities really start to show themselves and you begin to realize that the group of friends you had since second grade have almost nothing in common with you. But you can’t just leave them behind. After all, they know everything there is to know about you and they never left you behind for anything. It would be so hard to find a new group of friends who accept all your weird and quirky habits as they do, so you stay, but then things get quiet because you find less and less to talk about and the only thing you have in common is that math homework. You stay because you’re comfortable and they’re familiar. But friendships also fade away because of distance. People say long-distance relationships are hard, but who said they’re only talking about romantic relationships? Platonic relationships can be just as hard to maintain. Your schedules no longer match, you’re in completely different time zones, and finding time to fit in Skype becomes a struggle you don’t want to face anymore. It starts with Skype every week, to Skype once a month, to Skype when you have time, until occasionally catching up on WhatsApp becomes regular.
But then there are those friendships that are like a whole piece of driftwood that broke in half for no reason other than it happened—friendships where two people are joined at the hip and for no other reason than life or fate, they break apart and float in separate directions. It’s very likely that this is on the list of “some of the worst tragedies that have happened to people” because there is just no explanation for why it happened. Sometimes people come into your life just to leave you and you come into their life just to leave them so soon. These are the ones with lasting impacts—the ones that drift apart so slowly you could swear there wasn’t an exact moment when everything changed.
If you have a friendship that is worth a thousand moons, hold onto it like the world holds onto gravity because both don’t exist without the other.