To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before: the Best Friends Who Got Away

We’ve all been there. The spoon in shaking hand, pint of ice cream slowly pooling out onto the floor, swollen eyes swiping through pictures of the two of you standing cheek-to-cheek. Breakups bring the pain of a phantom limb: hurting instead of healing after the attachment is gone. Eventually, we stop binge eating dairy and the obsession eases, healing slowly and licking our wounds. Despite how long it can take, time and trash talking heals all.

Except when it doesn’t.

Except when there aren’t sides to take or romantic feelings to urge away. Except when the loss you feel isn’t from a love interest, but something else.

No matter the suffering we endure at the end of a relationship, a friend break-up is inarguably worse.

I’m taking a page right out of Netflix’s original movie for this post, except Noah Centineo can’t make this heartbreak any easier.

Transitioning from one stage of life to another is sure to cause some casualties: from preschool hand-holding to middle school boy-band crazed, best friends are sometimes left behind in the era they originated from. Some friendships can’t sustain through the cattiness or drama high school introduces, falling prey to cruel rumors and hallway whispers. Some friendships were never meant to endure the long distance status that college forces upon them, slowly thinning from the space between. Some friends change so drastically neither side can relate to the other. Sometimes it’s our own actions that drive people away, refusing to admit it to ourselves because of pride.

Whether the friendship fizzled, faded, or fell out, both sides of the party feel the loss. People change and relationships do too, but it doesn’t mean it hurts less.

So this is to all the girls I’ve loved before: the friends that were lost in translation. We all need some humility from time to time, and I’m about to take an un-ladylike mouthful of this humble pie.

No matter what caused our matching bracelets to fray, or our car karaoke to become un-synced, that same thing caused those hard feelings towards one another to fade too. As apart of self-reflection and maturing, I admit that I will forever, and always, miss you in my life.

For some, lost friendships may be ancient history, and although we’ve all (more or less) stopped being haunted by the ghosts of best friends past, they still linger in our old Facebook albums and plague memories with their presence. Once we can get over the feelings of resentment brooding over the past, we can admit that having those friends in our life truly changed it for the better, no matter how they ended.

So scoop one out to those we’ve loved but lost; raise those spoons high loaded with the flavor of your choice. Don’t apologize for growing up or growing old, but do thank those who influenced who you are today.

Maybe even send them a message of good will. That is, before Laura Jean’s little sister does it for you.

Ben & Jerry’s, anyone?

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