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Friends come and sometimes they go

freindsI’ve had a lot of friends over the years, far more than I can count on two hands. It’s said that you’re lucky if you have one good friend in your life, that with one friend you can get through anything. I’ve been more than lucky with so many good friends in my life, who have often helped me get through things.

When I look back on my past, it’s the quality of my friends that made all the difference. I know many of them have been ad hoc counsellors for me, helping me through whatever issues I had at the time, and I’ll always be thankful for them being in my life.

Some of my friends have been with me for a very long time, with my longest current friend being around for about 30 years this year. Even though we started knowing each other 30 years ago, we didn’t actually become friends until 23 years ago, and then they quickly became my lover and partner in life. We moved on after a couple years, but I’m privileged to still have them in my life as a close friend today.

Friends come, and sometimes they go. For many years my oldest friend was someone who had been around since 1978. We went through the latter years of primary school together, and on through high school. We split up after leaving high school and our lives took us in different directions, but we always were able to stay in touch with each other.

I was disappointed when, after 35 years of what I thought was a great friendship, he chose not to come to my wedding in 2013 as my best man. I didn’t think his reason was good enough, and I realised that the only reason we were still friends was because I hadn’t let go of him. So I did, and his response told me he didn’t really care, which I found quite disappointing.

Friends have always been important to me over the years, and I’m sure it’s because when I was growing up I had no friends. My parents moved around all the time and I was never in one place long enough to make friends. It wasn’t until I was 11 years old that we settled down somewhere and I started making friends.

So I’ve valued having friends because in my childhood I never had any, and I’ve valued their input into my life. I’ve hoped that I’ve been as good a friend to them as they have been to me. But when friends have moved on in my life, it’s been something I’ve been disappointed about, even though I know it’s a normal fact of life.

We develop friendships with people who are aligned with our interests or attitudes, and we share those interests or attitudes and have many good times together. But as a person grows and moves forward in life, what they’re interested in and the attitudes that they have will evolve and change. Sometimes the friends will change too, and they can grow together, continuing to share their changed interests and attitudes. But most of the time, who we become is no longer aligned with the friends we have. Our interests or our attitudes change, and so do our friends.

So when my friends have moved on I’m aware that it’s also possible it was I who might have moved on. Sometimes our friends leave us behind, and sometimes we leave them behind.

As we grow, and as our friends come and go, we’ll always find new friends who are aligned with who we become. I’m thankful for those in my past, and for those in my life today, and I’m looking forward to the friends I haven’t met yet. I’ve always said that strangers are friends we haven’t met yet. It’s true.

Hey stranger, how’re YOU doin’?


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  • Jim Cranky

    GOOD piece Alan! Happy to be your friend!

    You are right, friends come and go, either by choice or circumstance, or by death!

    I too have had friends since high school who have now written me off! For NO apparant reason! Not even an explanation! THAT hurts the most!
    Don’t want to be friends? FINE, tell me to fuck off, but at least give me a reason!
    Ignoring is a COWARDS way out!
    Sick of people like that! Too cowardly or mentally ill, to say, ‘lets go our separate ways…’!

    So I say FUCK ’em! They want to be like THAT, LET them.

    Also what annoyed me, were couple friends who subsequently got married had kids etc, & because I hadn’t done so (thru NO fault of my own), abandoned me as we no longer had as much in common, or socializing of couples and singles, ‘don’t’ mix!

    REALLY? Is this true?

    Sure, you make a family etc, I do NOT expect you to spend as much time with/on me, but you don’t abandon your single friends altogether, just because you are single (still).

    Yes, sometimes it IS better to have less high quality friends than numerous low quality friends!

    Cheers Alan!

    • You sound angry. 🙁

      • Jim Cranky

        A bit. Well wouldn’t YOU be, if you were just cast off without so much as a goodbye and some reasoning?
        Especially when YOU have done nothing wrong!

        • you’re angry because you feel abandoned and rejected and disrespected, but try to remember that people come into our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime. While they’re in our lives they bring us something of value. We should appreciate that for what it is, and remember them fondly for what we got from our relationship with them.

          You might have moved on, or they might have moved on, Either way, it doesn’t matter. There’s room for more friends to come in! 🙂

          • Jim Cranky

            Yes, certainly abandoned and disrespected for sure.

            BUT Alan, the difference with ME is, IF I don’t want to be friends with someone any more. I will TELL them so! To their FACE!
            THAT is the fundamental difference between me and many former ‘friends’!

            I will be UP front with you!
            I would LIKE to be given the SAME courtesy!

          • Mikke Musen

            Yeah. It rarely goes like that though.

            Could it be, in regard to this manner, that you may have a touch of Asperger ? (So that you prefer what is written, instead of reading in between the lines, in a manner).
            I’m suggesting a touch of asperger, since I would also suggest you being the most likely “odd man out”, when it comes to non-verbal signals in this matter.

            Not calling you, for a long time, is normally a hint about the friendship facing out. Especially if old friends have visited your town, without contacting you. Even more so, if you see that via Facebook, I would assume.

            You’re still alive and kicking. Nothing is that important. The baseline is fair weather friendship. Just be more “psychopathic” yourself, and you will find it easier to forgive and forget the mistakes of other 🙂 (Sadly it goes like that. Cannot blame someone for doing the same shit as oneself. Funny thing is you will be considered a more mentally healthy person. More stable. The world is deluded, but so be it 😉 )

          • You might enjoy reading this 🙂

            http://www.alansjourney.com/aspergers-and-me/

          • Jim Cranky

            NOPE! NO Aspergers for me!
            Did the test, I scored BELOW normal for an adult male, so I am SO UN Aspergers it’s NOT funny!

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