Everything we share on this glorious Internet is done so with the sole purpose of it being seen by others, and that is why you are reading this. Someone, somewhere, read this letter and thought of someone else. They probably thought of many people. You probably thought of many people also as you decided to read this. I wrote this letter with so many faces, memories, and emotions running through my mind. Life is fast, breath-taking, and noisy. In the midst of all of the noise we lose people. They slip away. They become a memory. They become a face that seeps into your mind when you start to remember the people you used to know.
Dear Old Friend,
Let’s start out with the obvious; I miss you. I miss all of the people I have lost. It isn’t something I frequently confront or even try to think about. This is because it only feels like a problem if I admit it is. It’s easier to accept change than to try to engage in a bloody war with it. Still, true friendship and love felt deep in a person’s heart is something that doesn’t waver. It can be ignored, but it cannot be destroyed.
Growing apart often feels natural at first. It starts slowly, and then by the time you realize you are losing someone, they’re already gone. There are also the abrupt endings. These are the endings that warrant flames and daggers into years of love. You then stand in the rubble of your lost relationship and wonder if it was all worth it, but again, it’s usually too late. Often in life we are too late, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I wish you weren’t a person that I used to know. I see your life in photos, like I watch strangers in a film. Brief texting has replaced deep conversation and secret-sharing. Memories have replaced realities. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go back to a simpler time, when friendship and love felt so easy. I wonder what it would feel like to not have a care in the world and just waste hours goofing off with you and the other people we now barely know. I wonder what it would be like to know each other again. You see, I have changed. I have grown. I think you would like who I have become. You may even be proud of me. I can’t explain how much I wonder if you’d be proud of me. I’m sure I’d be proud of you as well. I always was, even if I didn’t tell you enough. I know you knew. I am sure you have grown too, and some days I wish I had the chance to witness that growth the way I used to. I see that you are blossoming into this incredible adult that I barely know.
I wish it were possible to try to be best friends again. I wish it made sense. I wish I could always call you when I am feeling alone or lost. I wish I could tell you when something amazing, or even completely meaningless and silly happens. I wish I still heard the same things from you. I wish you didn’t live a million miles away, or at least feel like you do. I wish I could hug you when I hear that you are going through a hard time. I wish I could be there for you the way I used to be. I wish I could know the people in your life. I wish I could shake the hands of the people you fall in love with, and tell stories with the new friends you have made. I wish I could show up at your door with ice cream and a few crappy movies, just to really talk about the last few years of our lives. It wouldn’t be a lunch every six months or a quick phone call. It would be real, and honest. It would be the old us.
Why can’t we do these things? Time builds barriers. We get so wrapped in our changing lives and responsibilities that we end up often too strung out to try anymore when friendship becomes difficult. We fear rejection. We fear our own neediness and weakness. We fear a lot of things, but why? Life is busy, life is hard, and as I said earlier, life is noisy. It isn’t easy to maintain friendships, and certainly isn’t easy to rebuild them. But life is lonely enough without little empty spaces in our hearts. I miss you. I miss so many people. People miss people every single day, and yet we do nothing about it. I am writing this letter because I want to do something about it. I want to fight distance, time, hectic lifestyles, and inevitable effects of growing up. I want to make efforts where I may have failed to do so before. I want the friendships I know have always been worth fighting for. I don’t want empty spaces. Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you will read this and not want empty spaces either. I hope my space in your heart is still open, because your space in my mine will never close.