The wise often advise: life is too short to have regrets or to dwell over the past. But when it comes to people in the past, with whom your relationship have simply withered away over time – is it really a waste of time to wish things hadn’t changed so much?
I’ve always been one to hold onto a slippery hope that I’d stay in touch with people I was really close to. Considering I was the one who has always moved away after a few years, I thought I would have no problem staying in touch if I made sure to put in effort. It’s always strange to me the attitude I’ve seen so many people adhere to: out of sight, out of mind. Really? Is that all friendships are worth in the end – the time you spent together and no more? Some people tell me, “You live in the past – move on. If people don’t care to stay in touch with you, don’t care to stay in touch with them.”
But honestly, it has never been a situation to be bitter about. These were never bad people or flaky people, whom I needed to feel bitter towards. These were close friends who promised to stay in touch, but just never made the effort. But in today’s age of texting, Facebook, e-mail – how hard can it really be if you really want to catch up with an old friend? Not very. And this sad reality only proves that maintaining relationships over time requires effort from both parties. Of course some relationships have an inevitable expiration date, but I’m talking about the ones you’d think would withstand separation and change.
So maybe it’s just my mentality and inability to lose hope. At this cusp of college and the real world, I realize why it’s so particularly bittersweet for me. It’s not that I don’t know how to look forward. It’s not even that I’m endlessly looking back to the past. It’s just that I hope when I take those glances back to remember the last 4 amazing years, I’ll see people who have grown with me. I hope the memories and friendships don’t wither away in time, so every now and then we can relive the simpler days of undergrad, and I’m not just reminiscing over a snapshot of what life was like with those friends ‘back in the day’.
So, here’s to the most ridiculous, stressful, exhausting, hilarious, enriching, awe-inspring, and hopefully everlasting 4 years of our lives. And another toast to keeping those memories alive through friendships that won’t fall victim to the harsh effects of time – because when is ‘bye’ ever ‘good’?