I wish this were one big, fat lie. That everyone could stay in your life, just as they were in the best days you spent together. That I still exchanged letters with those girls I met at horse camp. That I could sit and have coffee with friends from high school, and the conversation wouldn't stop at How's life? How's work?
But just having coffee in general would be nice.
There are a couple of girls from college I stayed up all night talking and laughing and wreaking havoc with, who really aren't in my life anymore. At all. And I don't know what happened. There wasn't a moment in time where it ended. It just drifted. I think about each of them often. And pray for them. And sometimes, cry.
The fact of the matter is, you won't be everyone's cup of tea. And even if you are, sometimes the cup of tea runs empty. Or they start taking decaf. And part of growing up means understanding that, being okay with that, and not spurning people because of it. Even saying a genuine hello to them in the grocery store instead of hiding behind the melons.
What helps me make peace with some of these unspoken goodbyes is that, in this new stage of life, I'm saying a lot of hellos and hello agains. To people I've known for years or just months. To people who make life more meaningful. To people who care. To people with whom I can share humiliating stories, never thinking twice about judgement. To people who challenge me. And hand me a spoon to share their carton of ice cream.
This is the part I still don't have figured out. (Well, one of the parts.) Do I try to build a bridge back to the good ol' days - back to the friends who drifted away? Is that forcing it? Or do I really just let them go like the stupid little Pinterest quote above says? Because I still care. The scary part is the not knowing whether or not they do. And whether or not it's my fault. Did I hurt them? Did I hurt you? I'm so sorry. So deeply sorry.
Here's the bottom line: we may never be more than grocery store over-the-produce-rack small talkers. But I still care. And I just want you to know it.