Friday, 23 June 2017

Dear Old Friend...

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It's been a while since we last spoke - well over a month since our last brief text exchange. Isn't that strange? For years, I spoke to you every day. I couldn't have imagined this is where we'd end up.

I don't know how to talk to you anymore. It's like we've gone on a journey from strangers, to best friends, and looped back around to a reality where we don't know each other. Just because there hasn't been a fight or even a disagreement doesn't mean this hurts any less.

Were we just a friendship of convenience? Was I just your friend because I was there? Better to be stuck with someone who isn't much fun than to be on your own completely, I suppose. And by the time you met other people, it was too late - I was stuck to your side like a limpet. Sorry about that.

I always felt like I was holding you back. You are a very social person, proven by the fact that now we don't spend every day together you are absolutely surrounded by people and your social calendar is jam-packed. I, on the other hand, am socially anxious and introverted. You spent a lot of time putting up with me when you could've been living a much more exciting life. Imagine what university could have been like for you, if it wasn't for me.

The truth is that back then, even when I was ill and scared and tired, I felt like your equal. We started in the same place, and even when I had to re-sit a year and ended up finishing my degree while you started your PhD, I could kind of justify to myself that we were both as 'successful' as each other. That's not really the case anymore. Don't get me wrong, you never once made me feel bad about the fact that my dreams of doing a Masters and becoming qualified have fallen by the wayside, but I can't help but compare myself to you.

I remember sitting in our halls in first year, discussing what we wanted to do with our lives. We both had a plan, and we both had such ambition - but only you have followed through on it. You are a Doctor, and I am unemployed. I'm so proud of myself for getting my degree, but everything after has been unfulfilling, unsatisfying and not at all what I wanted. 

You are a tangible, living embodiment of everything I imagined for myself, and everything I didn't get. It's so unfair of me to feel that way about you, and I'm so sorry, but it's true.

Drifting apart was easy, and anytime we did speak I was full of resentment. Another holiday?! I haven't left the country since 2013, and I've been to five countries in my whole life. You usually manage that in a year. But why shouldn't you?! You're young and in love, and you work hard and deserve to use your money on living your best possible life. It's so hard to remind myself that we are different people, and I am not failing just because I'm not living the way you are. 

I got married, and I was so happy you agreed to be by my side for it. I have to admit though, I was hurt that you weren't more interested. You told me you "didn't care" about your bridesmaid dress, and you didn't ask a single question about my own dress, the decor, anything. On the other hand, you sorted my hen do when you didn't have to. But this is what I mean, I'm such a sensitive little crybaby about minuscule details until I remember that you'd done so many things for me. How many amazing things have happened in your life and I hadn't asked about any of them. I think, though, that was when I realised that what we'd had was damaged.

Every conversation since then has felt stilted and tense. We used to spend hours talking about anything and everything, and now we repeat the same small talk over and over. We have nothing to say anymore because we aren't on the same page. 

I admit I was slightly surprised when you bought your flat and invited us over. I wasn't sure whether you were genuinely excited and wanted to show us, or if you were rubbing it in my face a little. What an awful thing to think about a person who has shown me nothing but friendship. But my insecurity has ruined things, and I am the sad, bitter little person I never wanted to be. I am jealous of you. It's my dirty little secret.

I wanted better for myself, and I am sad that I don't have it. But I really, truly wish you every single success in the world, because you fought tooth and nail for it. Nothing you have has come easy, you've worked so hard for it and if you'd told 2007 me that this is where you'd be, I'd have been so thrilled for you. And I am thrilled, I am. Just that is dampened by disappointment. 

We've known each other ten years now, and you are in all of my favourite memories from the last decade. You are a wonderful person, with time for everyone, a quick wit, sassy comebacks galore, and an ability to make even a quiet night in the most fun in the world. I miss being your friend.

I'm going to text you, right now, as soon as I finish this. The thing is, I'm always the first to feel sad about situations like this, but the last to do anything to fix them. And I know that for so long you've had to put the effort in with me, and I'm never the one to make the first move. Maybe there is nothing that will fix the distance that has grown between us, but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't try.


  1. Aw Beth, I think you're doing a really important and valuable thing by making the first move to get in contact with this old friend - I'm sure that she will be truly touched that you're making the effort and really appreciate it! Everyone has different paths in life and just because yours hasn't followed the exact plan you had in uni doesn't mean you're doing any worse, you are successful in your own way, there is no sure-fire route to happiness! Sending you all the love!

    Abbey 👑

    1. I'm so glad I reached out to her - we now speak a bit more regularly which is lovely :)


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