I miss my friends. Many have gone away, and though they will return I will not get them back. They are gone forever, lost to me like a red balloon over the hot parking lot.
Those who have stayed are gone as well. We have all changed, and are no longer the people we knew. Our group of friends has all the same people, but is not at all the same group we once were. We found different games to play as the years had gone away, and though we may “pick up again where we left off,” we will never again be where or who we once were.
Has it been worth it, leaving ourselves behind? Have we kept the right lessons or have we abandoned the wrong dreams? No way to tell, no one to ask. Nobody knows what they’re doing along the way, everyone’s life is either a series of partially informed decisions or improvised courses of action.
In either case they cannot pass on their strategy to you. Their thoughts don’t fit quite as well in your head, and even if you could replicate their actions the game has changed so the field is not the same. We all grow up and the world does too; we we each have to decide who we become on our own.
So I try not to miss my friends too much. They are gone and have brought back new selves in their place, but I know they made themselves this way. I have too. Despite being different friends than we were before, we still laugh and have fun together. More than anything we reassure each other that neither of us has a clue how to “do life”. We remember our old selves and smile at our old adventures. Then, with just a bit of fear, we brace ourselves and turn to face the future.
We may not be the same people, we may not have the same friendship. We do not know what life we have, nor what will be. But life together beats life alone, so we’ll stick it out to the end.
This work was originally written for my blog. If you like it feel free to read other works published there or to recommend this piece here on Medium.