True Friendship: Do You Believe in Magic?
In the old Care Bears cartoon, we were told that "true friendship is in the heart and you'll find some way to make it last." That usually meant that the friend in question was at least a phone call or a hand-written letter away no matter where they moved to, but it was also acknowledged that you do need some close personal friends to remain nearby. Founding relationships can be difficult, especially as you get older and you feel like you're always "late to the party" because your new friends are all well-established with each other and you're the perpetual outsider for not having been acquainted as long or as deeply. It shouldn't be too hard to be friendly, but not all friendships last nearly as long as we want them to.
In the newest My Little Pony cartoon, they identified five elements to go along with friendship: honesty, laughter, loyalty, kindness, and generosity. That being said, the opposite of each can also destroy friendship. Being deceptive, humorless, disloyal, unkind, or selfish can certainly cause friendships to end; however, just like with other relationships, physical or emotional distance can also put a damper on things. Friends grow apart when they realize they have less in common with each other than they initially did or their lives take them in different directions and different places. Staying in touch isn't too difficult these days, except instead of phone calls or letters people use online social media to send messages to each other anytime they want. However, I've found this only works when those people actually want to stay in contact with you. You can be supposed best buds with someone in real life, but when you go off to separate colleges and want to stay in touch online, that person just disappears on you.
It happens. People get busy, meet different people, acquire different interests. In short, they grow apart. They don't always mean to, but it happens all the same. Just as I admire old married couples who are still in love, I always admired friends who could talk to each other and hang out all the time and remain best friends even as adults. Like the divorce rate, however, BFF breakups are about as rampant. When I was in school, I used to write stories about my friends and I having adventures together. Now, however, I'm disappointed to realize how few of us actually remained friends after graduation. The rest of us may not talk much, but at least once in a while we'll have a conversation or two (thanks to online social media, the digital door is always open). Lives change, people change, friendships die. That's not to say they weren't ever true, but nothing lasts forever.
It's important to value the time you have with your friends in whatever stage in life you're at. Even at their worst, you still became friends with them for a reason, and if that reason isn't enough to hold you together, it's at least worth remembering. I've had a lot of best friends come and go, and while I do harbor resentment for the reasons we aren't friends anymore, I will always miss the people they were when they were my friends. I may never have that ideal relationship with anybody for as long as I live, but I still have the stories and the pictures and the memories to look back on.