Update 3/26/2020: Due to some of our readers’ responses we would like to clarify that this opinion piece is not written about any one person. This piece is about the author’s feelings towards observing the ones they once felt close to and the difficulty of trying to reconcile with both the emotional and physical loss that may come with time.
Originally Published on March 24th, 2020
Growing up I’ve always been surrounded by people. I’ve always had a large family, and while I may not have had a ton of friends, I sure did have them. My friends growing up were arguably the biggest influence on the person that I am today. They gave me a view of the world different from my mother, different from my father, and different than my siblings. Thinking back, I’ve had many friends but, only a few I considered really close. Even fewer I’m still in contact with today.
Today as I’m writing this, almost nearing 30 years old (yikes!), I am acknowledging a shift in the dynamics. Some things seemed so solid, so set in stone. I’m here to tell you that nothing is ever written in stone and even if it is? Over time and through hard weather, even stone can become defaced.
Such is the way of some of my truest friends. Once headstrong and fierce—true fighters they were! They were always there for me. They were always there for everybody. They knew in their deepest heart of hearts that anything is possible and that we just need to find the way.
“Fuck it”, I can hear my best friend say. Screw the haters, go your own way.
But that was then and this is now.
15 years and a heavy dose of reality is enough to break even the most headstrong. Death. Divorce. Illness. These are just a few of the hardships that I’ve seen my friends suffer. These events shook them to their core. These events changed the very person that they are.
No longer are they headstrong—they are compliant.
No longer are they confident—they are meek.
No longer are they optimistic—they are pessimists.
Fundamentally, they are not the same.
I hope—dare I say pray?—that my friends can overcome these hard times.
As someone who was there. I remember them as they were and it breaks my heart to see them as they are now. I miss that fire that they had—the one that I never thought in a million years would burn out. I miss that anything was possible. I miss the champion fighter that they were.
I miss you.