“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost
The passage of time. The beginning and ending of all things. Including relationships of all kinds, intimate, work related, friendships. People come and go in our lives. It’s natural. We move, we change employment, people die. There are some relationships though, you think will never end. You never stop to consider when, or if, it could ever happen. You are so much a part of one another’s lives, perhaps you have known one another since you were in kindergarten, or you just met yesterday but it seems as if you’ve known each other since kindergarten. Either way, the relationship is so strong, the bond so deep, the end of it seems unimaginable. Utterly impossible. But, what if one day you don’t recognize that old friend anymore? What if they don’t recognize you?
What if the next time you meet for coffee, the comfortable and familiar veil of history together is lifted, and you start to see someone you no longer recognize. Or, want to know. Then what?
I’ve been grappling with this recently. At what point do chosen paths veer so far from one another that the bridge of friendship can no longer breech the distance between. What if the void is too great? I’m just not sure.
When I was younger I was certain there was nothing that could break the bonds of certain relationships, specifically that of family and dear friends. But, as I’m getting older I’m learning this is simply not the case. People change. There is no blame here. There’s only the differences between us in how we grow. And the value, the time, the energy, and sometimes even the very pieces of our own hearts, that we are willing to lay down along that bridge in an effort to rebuild and bring it back to whole. Is it possible we were just wrong all along? Is it possible the person in front of us was only a reflection of what we wanted them to be? And in truth like most reflections, the opposite.
What if the person we ourselves thought we were, is not actually who we are? What if we are really the ones who have changed.
It is a heavy feeling knowing a gap is widening between you and someone you hold dear. It is even heavier to think you may not be able to fix the fracture. Heavier still in thinking you may not want to.