Discover more from Thrive
The state of friendship can sometimes mean evolving and growing apart; both can be positive outcomes.
A long-time friend hurt me this week. I don’t know all that is going on in her life and why she said what she said. My door is always open, and I hope I am wrong, but our friendship could very well be over.
This is probably a good time to say that the title isn’t a passive-aggressive dismissal; it represents something completely different (explained later in the post).
One thing she said that did resonate with me was, “Our lives are no longer aligned.” When she said that, it initially came across as very insulting. I thought we were friends, so what’s up with the unilateral assessment? Her condescending reply to my fundraising efforts for my book shocked me.
After calming down, I realized I had only talked to her once in maybe three years, and the first time I reached out was with a fundraising appeal. Probably not a wise decision on my part. I have been asking everyone I know or barely know, so perhaps this is a warning to be more thoughtful about sending these appeals to folks I haven’t seen or talked to in a while.
Back to the point.
While I don’t agree with anything else she said before blocking me, there was enough elapsed time and lack of conversation in our friendship for her to come to her conclusions in any number of unknown ways. Without engaging in consistent conversation, I had no idea that was happening.
Regardless, she said what she needed to say and did what she thought she needed to do. I genuinely wish her well.
If you read this article, there is a great chance you are a grown adult who does not need any unasked-for advice on the various types of friendship states and how they naturally grow or grow apart. I’m 55. I have seen personal friendships grow apart or strengthen often (especially after coming out). The pain is new (specific to the person), but the lessons underneath it all are not. I hate having to lean on these lessons once again, but at least I am equipped and empowered to stand confidently in who I am, even in the face of scorn.
Now, about this article titled “Toodles, Babe.” This phrase is one of my favorite moments in my friendship with this person. As was usual back then, we always had a great time hanging out. But one evening, as she left the restaurant looking back over her shoulder, fabulously well-dressed from head to toe, she said, “Toodles, Babe,” with affection and a smile. It was an iconic moment in our friendship that I refuse to let go of.
Today, as she leaves our friendship, I will intentionally remember her “toodles, babe…” exit rather than dwell on the recent negative energy. It may be good for both of us to have grown apart, but hidden in the history of our friendship are moments of pure gold that I will always treasure and won’t let go of.
And that is a good thing….
P.S. I will have my first Thrive Live at 5 on Instagram this afternoon. I will be interviewing my friend Jacob Head. His story of coming out of the church closet and surviving conversion therapy is inspiring. We will start at 5 PM Eastern, 4 PM Central. Click here to join us, or find me on Instagram at @rrscobey .
Thrive is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.