When Friends Drift Away

We all have those times when we go through our pictures of our school days or our college days, and feel nostalgic. We come across those innumerous memories that we will never get back, some forgotten, and some still fresh in our minds. It reminds us of all the stupid things we did, all the events we celebrated with our friends. All the places we went, all the new people we met, etc. But what strikes most in our minds are those happy, smiling faces right beside ours. Those bright expressions of your friends which clearly brings out the joy in your hearts. And that makes us wonder, ‘Are things still the same?’

Most of the times, the answer to that question is bound to be a ‘No.’ Life is a continuous process, and every next moment brings us further away from the previous one. We don’t have a choice but to go along with this flow. But that also means that some things will get left out because of the force of the flow, or even because you didn’t want to hold on to it anymore. However, in case of people, it is much more complicated.

You make friends wherever you go. But you lose in touch with some too. After school ends, after college ends, after you shift to somewhere else – you stop meeting your friends as much as you used to before. Sure, nowadays, there are always the social networking sites which can help you keep contact with them, but no matter how much you try, it is never the same anymore. Firstly, there would be a few get-togethers, enquiries about where you are studying, where you are working, what you are doing, and then you’ll talk every few months or so, and then it will be only the ‘Happy New Years’, the ‘Merry Christmas’ and if you’re lucky, you might even get a ‘Happy Birthday’, once or twice. And then, maybe if you ever need each other’s help in the future, you might make the effort to catch up. Otherwise, their names in your friend list are just going to remain as “a friend in my school” or as “a friend in my college”, and that’s it. Some few friends will be there with you for many many years after you’ve gone your separate ways, but there will always be those who drift away, physically and mentally, far far away from you.

But it’s not the same for everyone. In case of those friends who weren’t very close to you in the first place, or those who had grown distant from you while you were with them already, you somehow get the idea that they aren’t going to be there in your life later on. In fact, afterwards, you don’t try very hard to keep up with them. Gradually, you lose touch with them but that doesn’t really make much of a difference. Their absence is very quickly filled up by someone new you met.

The difference, however, is felt to a great extent when you feel someone who was once very close to you, not so close to you anymore. Someone like your best friend, maybe. Usually, when your school ends, you make it a point with your friends to always keep in touch and never lose each other. But life always seems to get in the way. You get to keep your word with only a few of your old friends and the others drift away. Either of you shift away to a place, from where you’ll never be able to come and meet up. Or some serious problem occurs, or if there is a misunderstanding that turns everything bitter between you. Circumstances and situations become such that no matter how much you try, your friend’s hand will slip away from yours.

It even happens at times that you realize that the person you considered to be a very close friend of yours wasn’t one at all! That person was maybe with you all this time to fulfill some selfish purpose, and now that that is over, they don’t feel the need to pretend to be your friend anymore. Or someone who truly was your friend makes some more friends in a new school, or in college, or in their place of work, and get influenced by them. This influence changes them, in a good way or maybe a bad way, and it starts creating a distance between you. You start realizing that they don’t want to be friends with you or be as close to you as you were before, or you start feeling more comfortable when you’re distant from that friend. There are even those other times when you don’t even know why you’re not talking to each other anymore, but you just aren’t!

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These are the most helpless moments in our lives. All those years you spent with those special people in your life, who saw you grow up, who saw you find yourself, who were there with you whenever you needed a helping hand, and now you have to try hard to remember the last time you shared a laugh together. When you look back at the pictures, you might find yourself wishing you could go back in time, find out what went wrong, and fix everything so that you all can be friends once again. But nothing is in your hands anymore. These separations were bound to happen – if not the way it did, then some other way; if not with the person it did, then with someone else! But no matter how much we try, we cannot prevent it.

We have to go on with our lives. We cannot sit back and wonder what happened to our old friends and waste all the beautiful moments of the present and the future. Life is going to be full of goodbyes. We have to concentrate on our goals and move on with the people we have right now. What has already happened in the past, we cannot control any of it anymore, so we might as well try our best to hold on to the ones who are close to us right now and hope to never drift away.

The future is something we can always look forward to, no matter what is going on in our lives right now. You never know, you might meet more amazing people who will change your life for good. They won’t make you feel sad about losing your old friends, you will only feel happy about all the great moments you had shared with them that are safely tucked away in your old photo-albums.

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