You always hear or read about people thanking those who have stood by them in life, who have stayed when they were repeatedly pushed away or had their back at every turn… but what about the people who willingly up and go? Who pack their bags and go without bothering to fight for us or the friendship?
You know the ones I’m referring to… The ones you feel you can’t live without until, well, you just do. The ones who promise time and time again to never leave your side but somehow disappear without a backward glance. The people who profess and promise with such false sincerity to always love you and be there for you… until, whoops, they aren’t.
We always expect to find a gaping hole in our hearts when someone we care deeply for becomes nothing more than a distant memory. When age and circumstance mean they cannot really matter to us as they once did. When we wake up one day and realise that, “Actually, you aren’t the best friend to me any more after all.”
But sometimes, more often than not, you look around you and it dawns on you that you haven’t actually had the urge to message them in over a month. You haven’t missed the daily chats or the scattered occasions they would carefully set aside to see you, like you were a scheduled event rather than a living, breathing person.
You realise that, above anything else, you want someone who can see you at your best and your worst and accept you just the same, each and every day. No matter how moody, irritable or sad you weakly allow yourself to be.
Someone who won’t tell you you made a mistake or that you should do anything other than listen to your heart… even when you and they both know it might be wrong.
You begin to understand that some people might not be perfect for you, they might screw up and break your heart on an almost daily basis but through it all, when you expose the rawest, darkest parts of your soul to them, they will still be there at the end of a day. Not because you haven’t given them a million reasons to leave but because to them, there is always one all-defining, unchangeable reason to remain.
You learn that just because someone is your best friend, does not mean they will be there the most for you. They will be fine with leaving you for months on end because email, Whatsapp or even written correspondence is just too tedious and they haven’t been in the “mood for anyone lately, sorry”… and yet still, years later, they will have the arrogance to berate you for loving someone who, for all their faults, has been there for you since the very first day you met.
You will begin to see that you shouldn’t have to beg people to see you or spend time with you because one day someone will tell you straight up that they “don’t spend time with you because you ask me to or you need me… I just do it because I enjoy being around you. Because I want to.”
You will discover that months will pass, relationships will end but not all bonds will break… and you will see that the people who truly want to stay in your life, simply do.
You don’t need to hear from them every day. You don’t need to see them for years. You don’t even have to miss them consciously but even still, no matter how much time passes or what changes in your individual lives, they will always be there. Purely because they always want to be.
So to all the people who have left our lives, who have abandoned us or choosen to disappear without a trace, thank you for leaving. Thank you for showing us that new and better people will gladly step up and fill the voids you so briefly left in your wake.
Thank you for showing us that we didn’t need you after all and that we can cherish the memories and hold you in our best wishes – but we do not have to have you in our lives if you decide to let us go.
We’re still breathing. We’re still happy. We’re, quite simply put, doing just fine without you… and sadly, your absence is far more reliable than your presence in our lives has been in recent months.