It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant.
I've always loved that quote. I had it on my bedroom wall my first year of law school (I used inspirational quotes to dull the blahs of cinder block walls). It seemed particularly pertinent at a time when I was leaving behind the best friends I would ever have and jumping into a new world, where making new friends was a necessity. I knew that there would be some college friends who would stick forever, but many of the familiar faces would be gone, replaced by the people I'd see regularly in my new home. And so, that quote was placed on my wall to help me remember that new friends would come.
And new friends did come. And I did stay close with some old friends. Life went on. I no longer needed to be reminded that friendships come and go. I no longer needed to use computer printouts to decorate walls.
Then it hit me. That quote has been swirling in my head for the last couple of weeks. And I think I've finally figured out why.
I have reached a new phase of my life. Friends whom I needed desperately came into my life right when I needed them and now they are transitioning out as we each enter new phases of our lives. Its neither good nor bad, it just is.
I am finding it a little odd to be keenly aware of the transition away from friend to something less. It's not like I'm moving 900 miles and starting a whole new life. When you do something like that, you know friendships will be lost. When you stay put, the change is usually only noticed long after it happened.
While it may feel odd to know this is the end of a friendship, I think it is a gift as well. Because I know, I am taking the time now to be grateful for the wonderful friendships that I have developed, the moments shared. I am celebrating my friendships that are on the way out. Since I truly believe each friend changes me, I am purposefully holding onto the precious lessons learned in a way that I've never been able to do before.
Finally, knowing that this phase of my life is ending, I am opening myself to the new more readily. So, if the following moves you, perhaps you're moving to the same phase I am and want to be friends:
There are things you do because they feel right
and they may make no sense and they may make no money
and it may be the real reason we are here:
to love each other and to eat each others' cooking and say it was good.