To the ones we leave behind
I was scrolling through Facebook after my freshman year of college when I saw it.
“Lisa Allen got engaged to Tyler Bosworth.”
Lisa Allen is engaged??!!? It was unfathomable to me. The girl I had spent my entire elementary years traipsing through parks with was going to get married. And I was finding out on Facebook.
I wanted to tell someone. I hadn’t even known she had a boyfriend, but how should I have. She’s a private person, she doesn’t advertise her life online for the rest the world to see, but it seems like I should have known nonetheless.
In 3rd grade, I would go to her house three times a week. We spent entire weekends jumping on her trampoline and spinning in her tire swing, never once thinking there would come a day that we were no longer a part of each others lives, our interactions reduced to a “like” or a rare comment on the social website that would become the embodiment of our relationship.
We created entire worlds for ourselves, imagining the places we could travel from the planet that was her backyard and the solar system that was the park down the street. We read and laughed, watching movies and laying the foundation for a friendship that would last forever.
Only it didn’t.
Because Lisa and I started to make other friends outside of our bubble. And we both realized there were more people that we shared other interests with. Lisa started going to a different school and I found a new friend in Melissa. Sure, Lisa and Melissa were friends, but it was different, we shared different interests. All at once I was a junior in high school, driving past the park I had spent countless afternoons biking through and realizing I hadn’t spoken to Lisa in years.
For that matter, I didn’t remember the last time I had said more than a passing hello to Melissa. Because as I grew I would find new things I was interested in, and with those new things came new people. Gradually, those new people became new friends and despite trying to tie the old friends in with the new friends you realize your grip on the two ropes is imbalanced, the hand holding the new one always holding tighter. And the old slowly slips through your fingers without your noticing until years have passed.
The girl I once imagined would be my maid of honor didn’t even invite me to her wedding. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t even disappointed. I merely liked her wedding photos and continued scrolling.
It’s an endless cycle. As terrible as it is to think about, many of the people currently in my life may not be around in the next five years. Because life is such funny thing, and no matter how hard we may try to hold on to the ever unravelling ropes of our past, they will slip away. And we find ever new ropes to hold as we grow older, giving only the occasional glance back at the life we lived and the ones who made us who we are.
And would you look at that, Melissa just got engaged.
Originally published at emilyamullins.wordpress.com on March 11, 2016.