Out of a state of pathetic desperation, I’ve been getting more into astrology. It’s mostly because I feel the overwhelming need to embark on some sort of “girl entering her twenties soul searching extravaganza”, but don’t want to do all the work that entails. So instead, I decide to read the astrology column in every trash magazine I encounter at the grocery store checkout and go to every astrology chart site I can find just to get second, third, and fourth opinions. I get a sort of thrill out of having some rando understand me, whether it’s something as simple as “make your choices wisely” or “stay away from red fruits”. I eat it up every time, partially because I love the magic of it all, and partly because I’m really lacking in affirmation right now and need someone, even if it’s some lowly writer at National Enquirer, to tell me everything’s going to be okay. And don’t worry, if you’re a troll who hates the rising generation of crystal healing, astrology loving freakazoids, I already know how lame this sounds. (but if you are an astrology hater would you mind going away because I’m tired of you people reminding me I’m a total kook)
Maybe it’s the results of my astrological chart creating some sort of placebo, but I’ve started to realize that I absolutely, positively, despise change. It could also be because I’m facing what you’d define as major change for the first time in my life and don’t know how to stomach it. I always thought that being a product of divorce would make me more flexible when it came to transitions, but I’ve quickly realized I was wrong, especially after finishing this semester of college. As of late, it’s felt like the foundations in my life have become less sturdy, all at once. Even if I’m in a constant state of transition and growth from being in college, it’s the things that I thought would never change, that would carry me through all the craziness, that are dissolving.
Friendship has always been something immensely important to me. It’s not that I’m afraid of being friendless or don’t like being alone, but I do prefer having a close-knit group of friends that I can count on over a whole lot of lackluster ones. I was lucky enough to find this early on in life, and even if some of us went to different schools, or moved, or went through new boyfriends and girlfriends, we remained close all throughout middle and high school. We lived for the weekends, having bake offs and movie marathons and paying off older siblings to buy us cheap wine so we could dance around in the backyard to Marina and the Diamonds. While being a teenager was full of sorrow and scathing awkwardness, I’m nostalgic for those days, because I had such a secure group of people to survive them with.
Even though we’ve spread out all over the state for college, we still stay in contact, and even if it’s weeks without speaking, we come together over school breaks and make a point to stay in the loop on each other’s lives. But, as time goes on, I feel a weight start to settle at the pit of my stomach whenever I think about how different our relationship has become. As we start to stretch and grow into who we are supposed to be, our interests diversify, and our conversations and connection change too. It’s not that I long for the old topics of high school drama and One Direction fan fiction, but I do miss being on the same page. There are things I might go through that they won’t understand, and the thought of the people I’ve looked to for years as my main confidants not being able to share in something with me or understand it makes me truly recognize the distance between us.
Putting distance between friendships also causes you to see how secure they were in the first place. One friend that I thought I would be close with forever has left my life, and perhaps the most disheartening part of it all is the fact that it happened without me even realizing it. It was as if she was there one minute, and the next, she was gone. Although we are still bound by our friend group, and see each other for school break get togethers, it feels like I don’t truly know her anymore. It’s a mixture of things that I don’t see the benefit in delving into, but ultimately, we have fundamentally grown apart. There was a point in time that I could always count on her to be on the same page as me, but these days, it’s hard to remember when things were like that. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what I could’ve done to change it, and fixated on the time leading up in an attempt to locate the moment when everything changed. It’s almost as if it was completely out of my control, and I didn’t realize it until I was driving to work one day and felt compelled to pick up the phone to give her a call.
It felt like I was talking to a distant relative who I’d called on principle; the silence lay over us like a scratchy, heavy blanket I wanted to shake off. We made surface level conversation, about work and pets and siblings and relationships. But it didn’t feel like I was talking to my best friend, and that’s what really stung—worse than any scratchy blanket you could ever be wrapped up in.
Maybe the scariest thing of all is that there wasn’t a moment that things changed, but instead that it happened over time. It was happening since the moment our friendship wasn’t convenient anymore, that the walls of our shitty high school weren’t binding us to believe that it was a forever sort of thing. I didn’t realize it until it was staring me straight in the face, because the loss of this friend, while painful, is natural and inevitable. I wondered how I could’ve missed it happening, but the truth of the matter was that it had been happening all along, but that I was too busy falling into who I’m supposed to be in this season of life that it didn’t matter to me. In the grand scheme of things, even if I notice the lack of her presence in my life, it doesn’t take anything away from it. I never thought I’d say my world feels full without her, but as I remember how long I’ve went without noticing she isn’t around anymore, I realize that I’m not the same person I was anymore. Maybe the thing that’s causing me so much discomfort about the loss of this friend is that it’s a byproduct of me becoming someone else too, someone I don’t completely recognize, but am learning to know and love each day. Although that terrifies me, it’s something to celebrate too. Even if I miss her, and miss who we both were before, I can say that I’m enjoying getting to know the person I’m becoming, and there’s beauty in the formulation of that relationship, too.