I just read this great book. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s been around for a while. I’m actually kind of ashamed of myself because I didn’t read it earlier. But my sister got it for me as a Christmas present, and I read it in about a day and a half.
I was reading it in a coffee shop one day, and an old friend walked in. We said hello, hugged, and talked about what we were doing with our lives. After a few minutes of very pleasant conversation, the friend she was meeting came, and it was time for us to say goodbye.
I was remarking on how it had been so long since I’d seen her. I couldn’t even remember the last time. When I went to say goodbye, I said, “I’ll see you…well, I dunno when.”
She smiled, laughed, and said, “Yeah, I’ll see you in a year.”
She went with her friend and sat at another table. I read on.
As I was reading, I came to this kwote. It’s the one you see above. In case you overlooked it, here it is again.
“…things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
It was sort of in the middle of the page, but it was so striking that I stopped reading all together. I stopped and thought.
That’s very true.
Things change. People make plans. Plans of their own that change their lives. Plans that change who they are as people. Plans that define their futures. Their interests change, their goals change, their personalities change. Who you once knew is different, and that can be good, or it can be bad.
Friends leave. Your friends from high school go to college. Your friends from college go to grad school, or get jobs. Whatever the case may be, the people who you’re close with go away. You do your best to stay in touch, but after a while, it gets tough. And you talk less and less. And you forget. You become distant. So distant that you get lost. So distant that your friends really, truly leave.
Life doesn’t stop for anybody.Your friends leave, and that really sucks. You feel alone. Frustrated even. But it doesn’t matter. There’s no pause button. There’s no way to sit back and think about what’s going on. Life just keeps moving. You get older. Shit happens. Life happens. It doesn’t slow down just because the people you knew are suddenly gone. It just keeps moving.
I know there’s nothing I can do about any of this. It just is. I do my best not to think about it and to enjoy the people who are with me here and now.
But it’s hard to shut out completely. When will I see my friend from the coffee shop again? A year? Two? Longer? Maybe I won’t see her again. I used to see her pretty much every day. And she disappeared, essentially. Instantly, too. One day, we both just left. It was as simple as that. We didn’t say goodbye. We didn’t say good luck. It just happened.
That’s hard to digest. It’s kind of cruel, really. We make bonds only to have them broken. We know they’ll be broken, but we make them anyway. Because that’s all we can do. And that’s very sad.
What happens when I graduate? What happens when I move away? What happens when I move again? And what happens to all the other people who lose their friends? How does that impact them? How does that impact their lives? What do we do when the only people we have change, or go away?
I ask, but I know the answer. I guess I’m hoping for something brighter.
If you have a more sun-shiny answer, I hope you’ll share. And if you have some insight, some advice, or something to say about the matter, I’d love to hear. I certainly don’t have it all figured out.
Hopefully I haven’t depressed you entirely. If I have, go eat a cookie, drink some milk, sing a happy song, and tell your best friends that you love them.
Until next time.