One of My Biggest Insecurities

Something I struggle with a lot (and have my whole life) is the unsettling number of people I can point to and say "we used to be best friends".

Whether it's from a fight or sheer drifting, I have never grown with my friends in a way that could keep our promises to each other alive for very long.

And as much as I hate to admit it, that really bothers me.

I hate thinking that this is has been my life for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, my core circle changed every time I changed grades. From Lauren, Samantha and Kristina, Audrey, Jamie, Erin and Ellie, to Shelby and Hayleigh, the only girl I'm still good friends with from that group is Audrey, which also makes me question my friendship qualities, because she has not lived in La Cañada for what is nearly half of our friendship. By the time our lives have run their courses, most of our friendship will have been spent apart.

I spend a lot of time trying to justify it in my head and even though I can't find a real "solution" or reason as to why this seems to always happen to me, I am pretty sure of a few things.

I'm not a bad friend.

I love my friends a lot. I love talking and doing activities and hanging out and generally just being next to them. I spend a lot of time driving us around, picking them up, or spotting them when they need a dollar. I like to think I'm fairly well liked, so I doubt that 99% of the people I interact with would ever describe me as a ""bad friend"".

I also don't think that falling outs are always my fault.

As much as I'd like to believe it was never my fault, I know that I always have something to do with a friendship falling apart. There were a few times where one of us had simply grown up a little faster, but there were also times where there was a big "End All" fight.

I don't know which one is more heartbreaking, but I do know that how you feel after the end of a friendship says a lot about the ending itself.

I miss some of my old relationships. There are two that I miss the most, two girls that I ended up being friends with again, but there are also some where I don't miss them at all. There are people who treated me awfully, were manipulative, hurtful, and judgmental, but there were also people who felt like they were simply too cool to hangout with me anymore (which is untrue - no one is too cool to hangout with anyone else - if you ever do this to someone, don't come crawling back, they will most likely reject you for caring more about something as subjective and meaningless as popularity than an actual person who can help shape your world). At the end of some friendships, I reacted how anyone would to a breakup they weren’t expecting. At other ends, I felt like myself again.

The friendship I miss most lasted from the beginning of sophomore year, to about February of my junior year.

She was loving, friendly, so much fun to be around, and such a great person. To this day I would still do anything for her, but when the friendship ended, I was heartbroken. I cried to my mom, avoided her in my classes, and was generally confused for a while. After a few months of thinking, I came to a few conclusions, but the most important thing about this friendship is that after we both grew up a little bit, we apologized to each other. We grew differently, but ultimately, we still genuinely cared about one another. I’m perfectly content with what happened between us junior year because in the end, I wouldn’t have ended up being friends with the people who I see regularly today.

The two friendships I miss least are two whose ending were completely different in nature, but both are people I am not too fond of anymore. Whether it was selfishness, passive aggressive fights, or miscommunications, the bridges were burned.

What confuses me most about those were the initial moments that signaled the potential downfall and who were the ones who “started it”. Who was the one who noticed the red flags first, who was the one who wanted out first. Why did the friendship fail, what changed, how can I avoid this next time (there was always a next time).

I don’t know why I’ve always wanted to be the girl who had the same friends from kindergarten through senior year, but I will never be her.

I guess I grow differently.

Lizzie Bromley