I learned a long time ago that humans are made for social interaction. There is a need in every single person for human contact and relationships. That is why friendships are so important. Your family will always be there to support you, but your friends are the people you can tell anything to, the people who are with you in your darkest moments and in your brightest. But there are very few friends who stay with you throughout your whole life.
I think it is pretty normal for girls to imagine who their bridesmaids will be one day. I have done this with my friends for a long time and it seems like every time my list changes. This in itself proves that friendships change throughout the years. The people who I would have put in my wedding four years ago are completely different than the people who would be in it now. And that’s fine.
I didn’t have horrible friendship-ending things happen to those people four years ago, we just simply grew apart. Some friendships are harder to lose than others, but everyone goes through what it feels like to drift apart from someone you were once close to. And hopefully everyone experiences what it’s like to have someone stick by your side for most of your life.
If you want to see an explanation of the ebb and flow of friendship, Madea has a way of describing it as only Madea can.
I have had a few people throughout my life that I have had the privilege of calling my best friends. I’m not someone who believes you can only have one best friend at a time. I like to share the love. But even people who I once called my best friends I don’t necessarily talk to anymore or if we do we are not as close as we once were.
My oldest friend, Taylor, and I met in the first grade. I was new to my elementary school and we were in the same class. One day when we were walking to the playground I felt something crawling up my shirt. So naturally, I reached under my shirt and grabbed whatever was trying to kill me. Turns out it was a bee. When I crushed it with my mighty 5-year-old hand it stung me. I told my teacher what happened and she asked me if I knew where the health room was. I said no and Taylor said she could take me. We have been friends ever since. We don’t talk every day — we don’t even talk every month. But when we do we pick up right where we left off.
In middle school I had two best friends, Robin and Christina. We remained extremely close all throughout middle and high school and college. Robin and I were recently in Christina’s wedding. As far as I am concerned we will be friends forever. We will probably drift apart and our lives will take us different places — that has already started — but we were with each other through some tough situations and we will forever be best friends.
My freshman year I was extremely close to my roommate, Lizy. We did everything together. Joined clubs, went to football and basketball games, watched the same TV shows and went to each other’s intramural games. We were inseparable for a year. I haven’t talked to her since the summer after freshman year.
My next two best friends, Ashlynn and Linley, were my roommates in college. They are both older than me. That makes our friendship a little different than the rest because it puts us in different places in our lives. We don’t have a long history to fall back on when life takes us different directions. We did live together for a year so that is a strong bond, but in the grand scheme of life a year isn’t that long.
But I’ve already noticed us not talking quite as much or having as many “roommate bonding dinners” as we did. Whether we remain close for a long time or whether they were only meant to be my friends for a few years, that doesn’t take away from how much fun we had living together and how much we needed each other during that time in our lives.
Madea says that some friends are leaves and they just drift in and out of your life. They aren’t meant to be there for long, they are there for a season. Some people are branches. You might think they are strong, sturdy friends but if you lean too heavily on them they break. They might be in your life longer than the leaves but they still won’t be life-long friends.
And then there are the roots. The people who are in your life no matter what and the ones you can tell anything to without fear. Most people only have a few roots and that is all you need.
The majority of friendships are like leaves and that is OK. Not every friend you make is meant to be in your life forever but you have to learn to be alright with that. You have to learn how to separate the leaves from the branches from the roots.
Editor’s Note: Caitlin is a contributor to this blog, but isn’t the only writer whose words you may see here. To read more posts by Caitlin or to see the other writers, visit the authors’ categories in the menu at the top right corner of the screen.