The Truth about Friendship

I'm starting to write this post and I can already feel that it's gonna be easy to write but not easy to publish. Just to clarify ...

I'm starting to write this post and I can already feel that it's gonna be easy to write but not easy to publish. Just to clarify something up front: I created this blog simply to have something like a diary, a space that I can call my own and where I can write about who I am and what I love. Anyone who reads this post and thinks 'urgh she's just doing this for attention', please go and read something else.
I just want to share my thoughts and experience, and maybe there is someone who reads this and identifies with it or maybe I can help and make someone with a similar problem feel better in some kind of way. Just please remember that what I choose to share on here might not be all of what I really feel or think, simply because there are some details that I might not want to share with the internet. But enough of this, let's get into it.

Two years ago, during Summer 2015, I probably had the best time of my life. At least that's what I thought I did. The time around finishing school was just the funniest and craziest three months I've ever had. I thought I had the best group of close friends around me, consisting of maybe 10 people. Then there were the people I always used to hang out with in school as well, those 'friends of friends' type of people, and then there were all the boys. Oh, what a good time did I have thinking I had a crush on someone, experiencing new things, and meeting guys who I thought were relatively decent people but turned out not to be. But it was all okay, because even if some stupid boy made me feel bad, I still had my friends who I could always rely on to cheer me up and be there for me. Out of those 10 'close' friends I mentioned above, I sometimes realised that the REAL close friends probably came down to 5. And that's still quite a big number for a group of 'best' friends.
Those I used to hang out with every single day, we used to do the craziest things together, but also have those quiet moments to share. Whenever I hadn't been on my phone for a couple of hours, there were 157 new messages in our Whatsapp group, and whenever one of us wasn't there while we hung out it just felt incomplete. I honestly thought that those people really knew me, I trusted them with everything, we were literally inseparable.

When you're in high school, you think you know who you are already. You think you know what you want from life, you may or may not have your future planned out infront of you, and you never dare to think that any of your friends would ever choose to go down a completely different path that leads them further away from you. And even if you know that everyone has got different plans, you would still never imagine that one day, you and them might not be the same people anymore, and so your friendship will either be completely different or it might not even exist anymore. But if you are still in high school right now, I'm telling you: Be prepared for a lot of changes.

Back to my story: All the time during A-Levels (in my case it was called German Abitur) I knew that I had other plans than my friends. I knew that I was planning to move to a different country to go and study art, there were lots of things that I liked and they weren't interested in or didn't know about, and there were loads of preparations I had to make before moving. It was clear to me that everything would change once I'd leave for England in September, but I always thought I would still stay the same person, and so would my friends. But believe it or not, experience changes people. Everything we go through, every day we live shapes us and time slowly changes you whether you notice it or not. Or whether you want it or not. But at some point you realise that you've gone through something and before that, you might have had completely different views or feelings from now. And that's normal. You might learn from your mistakes, you might experience pain, loss, happiness or loneliness, and all of those things make you who you are. And if someone who used to be your friend doesn't understand that person anymore at some point, it means that they have changed in a way that doesn't correlate with your way anymore. This is normal and it happens every day to everyone.
My mum has always told me that the friends I have now won't be there my whole life and I always used to get angry at her for saying that because I was 100% sure the friends I had were the best ones I could ever have and nothing would ever change my relationship with them. But now I know that she' was right.

After I had moved to England, I was seriously anxious about being lonely at uni or not finding anyone to hang out with. I was still so close with my best friends that I used to text them all day every day and everything still seemed fine, it just felt like I was on holiday really. I used to send them photos and videos of everything and I had loads of people who I knew contacting me and asking me how I was and how things were going. At that point I was convinced I would return to home after that one year and nothing would have changed there. But after a while, I realised that I had to make new friends, and I wanted to make new friends, I wanted to connect with people at uni who were experiencing the same stuff as me and it is, of course, only natural for us to seek the company of others.
I am really not the best at making new friends, though. It is really hard for me to find people that are interested in being friends with me I think. Don't get me wrong, it's easy for me to talk to people (which I only learned after I moved to England), and I get along with anyone really easily. But to find someone who is equally interested in being friends with me, is just really hard. I've realised more and more over the past two years that people not only seek the company of others, but they seek the company of like-minded. This is obvious, you think. But actually, I had always thought that I didn't really belong to any particular group of people or that ohers would see me as a completely different person than themselves, but yes, they do. At home it was easy; everyone I knew had known me while I was growing up, all my friends knew my crazy Harry Potter obsession, all my friends knew I was into fashion and makeup, but they also knew that that didn't make me the superficial bitch that I might look like (at least I hope that). And they've seen the changes over the years but they've still known me as the same human. But to someone who has never known me before, I might seem like a completely different person than who I am. And I think that a lot of my new friends probably thought something completely different of me when they first met me. But that's okay, as long as you give them a chance to meet the real you.

However, while your new friends get to know you without knowing your past, they probably get to know the more essential 'you' in some kind of way. Because what happened at some point was that my 'old' friends used to still think of me as the person I had been a year before, while my 'new' friends actually knew what was going on in my life right in that moment, and what was important to me at that point in my life, simply because they experienced it with me.
How did that happen, you ask? How did it happen that my old friends, who had known me for ages, who had been through good and bad times with me, didn't really know who I was anymore? Simply because they didn't experience everything I experienced. Not that I didn't tell them anything, but some things you simply might be able to tell someone, but telling a story is not the same as experiencing it. 

And so, some of the friendships which I thought would last a lifetime, broke apart. I can't tell you how exactly it happened but I know that some of them ended in fights, and others ended in simply 'not talking anymore'. What I do know however, is that those 'fights' only appeared to be caused my someone neglecting the friendship and not making an effort, and the other one then accusing them of suddenly being 'a completely different person'. These are two very different things, Ladies and Gentlemen. The problem is that a friendship consists of two people. And both of them have to make an effort to keep up the relationship with the other person. If one of them does this and the other one doesn't, then maybe the person who does make the effort should step back and tell themselves 'Maybe I should invest my time and effort into someone else.'
But usually the person who apparently doesn't make an effort, may not even realise this. You can be the most caring and understanding person in the world but still, you can't read people's minds. And sometimes we forget that and misunderstand someone else's actions because we only know what's going on inside our own heads. And it is even harder to let the other person know what you're thinking about when you're not even in the same country.
In my case, it just happened that life got in the way and I started to forget to check my phone or I had so many other things to do that I didn't want to because I had to get stuff done. Sometimes I just wanted to spend time with my boyfriend who I'd met in England and being on your phone the whole time then is quite difficult. I have a full-time uni degree course which requires me to work 5 days a week, and I had a job for that I sometimes worked 30 hours in 3 days to pay the bills in London. There is not much time left for any social life anyway, and finding time to actually sit down for a phone call or at least a proper conversation is very difficult, especially because other people's lives are moving on as well. Most of all, however, I had started to feel that I was changing. I had other things to think about that someone's crush following someone else on Instagram or any other gossip that happened in my hometown, which suddenly felt as far away as the other end of the world for me.
I had started to live a different kind of life and my priorities had changed, I was concentrating on myself, my future and the new people I had met.
And if someone who calls themself your friend, doesn't support you in this but keeps on being jealous instead, then maybe it is time to not worry about that anymore but to start living your own life. You have the right to be happy and to fight for what you want to achieve, anyone who holds you back or says 'you've changed' maybe didn't know you in the first place anyway. Sometimes, our dreams require a lot of effort to come true and there are sacrifices you have to make again and again, and as long as you don't lose yourself, there is nobody who should have the right to tell you that you're becoming someone else, you're doing something wrong or you shouldn't do it because it's too 'risky'.

Everyone has a different perception of happiness; for one person it is the safety of the home, the family and the steady income, and for others it might be the risk of going somewhere else, getting out of their comfort zone and experiencing very new (and sometimes surreal) things. That these two ways of living may not correlate with each other that well is kind of obvious, but it doesn't mean that these people can't be friends. Because you can still support each other and be there for the other person without judging their pursuit of their own happiness. But if it ends in fights or jealousy, then maybe it is time to split paths. At some point in life, you might be meeting again and your paths are crossing in some unexpected way, who knows, but until then, concentrate on your own path and don't get lost inbetween the trees along the way.

Thanks for reading this if you made it to the end!

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