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An Open Letter To My Former Best Friends

An Open Letter To My Former Best Friends

I’ve seen some similar posts getting passed around on social media, but I couldn’t bring myself to share any of them because they weren’t exactly right. They didn’t say what I wanted to say.

That’s because between my (several) former best friends and I, there never was a big blow-up moment that ended our friendship. I don’t have much to say sorry about and neither do they.

We grew apart for various reasons. Sometimes it was because I was being a little immature, sometimes it was because they were, or maybe neither of us had any good reason to drift away. We just did because, at the time, it felt right. And it probably was.

We used to call each other BFFs: Best friends forever. We assumed we’d be in each others’ weddings, be the godparents to each others’ kids, and maybe even live on the same block where my daughter would kiss your son under the playground slide.

Those were cute ideas to talk about on lazy walks home from school, but I’m not sad it didn’t turn out that way. I hope you aren’t either.

An Open Letter To My Ex-Best Friend

You see, we wanted different things out of life; to live in different places, find someone to love forever, and find a career that is more than just a job. What are the chances we could have everything we want and each other at the same time?

The nice thing is that I did have my best friend at my wedding; he was the one standing across from me in a black suit. I hope your best friend was (or will be) standing across from you too if you choose to get married.

Now our friendships are reduced to a few likes and the occasional comment on Facebook a couple times a year. We don’t even text each other on our birthdays anymore (but I definitely remember yours and think about you on that day). I don’t even have your current phone number and I doubt you have mine.

Despite the many years since our last real hello, I still have an enormous amount of love and respect for you. I was there during your formative years (okay, our formative years) and I remember all the details of what kept you up at night.

I remember what made your childhood hard and what made it joyous. I remember your first kiss and your face after you tasted beer for the first time. My guess is that you enjoy kisses and beer a lot more now.

I also remember that time you wanted to run away and never see your family again. Those rebellious “get-me-outta-here” years were important in forming who are now, but these days I treasure my family and I can see that you do too. I’m glad we have both realized how important they are.

For the former best friends who have gotten married or had children, I am overjoyed for you. Thinking back to our conversations when we were young kids, it’s amazing to see you at the place in your life where you always dreamed you’d be.

Facebook may not be my favorite thing in the world, but I love it because it keeps me connected to you in a small way. From what I can see, you are doing so well and your heart has led you to amazing things and great people who make your life full. That’s all we ever wanted, right?

Facebook also has a way of showing us who we disagree with ideologically, and it’s possible that I think you’re nuts. That’s fine because you probably think I’m nuts too. Even if we disagree, I appreciate your perspective and am glad that we have grown up to have our own opinions. That’s more important than agreeing on every single point.

If you have experienced hardship and heartache, I have noticed and I think about you often. We expected life to take unexpected twists and turns, but we never imagined they would be so hard. I admire your strength and I am here for you if you need an old familiar shoulder to sob into. Or some ears to listen for hours. I know you would do the same for me.

An Open Letter To My Ex-Best Friends

I am always a person you can count on. If you send a message asking for me to proofread your resume, remind you what our seventh grade science teacher’s name was, or to give you a kidney, I will respond with love, understanding, possibly a marked-up resume or a question like “What’s your blood type? Are we even a match?”. Kinda depends on what you’re asking. Point is that I am always here for you.

And from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for everything. Thank you for the inside jokes that still make me crack a smile to this day. Thank you for being there for the strangest and most awkward years of my life and for letting me be a part of yours.

Thank you for the amazing memories, from pre-school all the way past high school graduation. Several of my new friends have heard my favorite stories about you. I hope your friends have heard at least one about me.

Bit by bit, the memories we made are fading and the pictures of us are getting buried a bit deeper in storage (except for the few that made it online), but my love for you is not going anywhere.

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About the Author

Natalee Desotell

Natalee graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 with a triple major in Political Science, International Politics & Economics, Languages & Cultures of Asia, and a minor in Global Public Health. After a couple years in the working world, she recently returned to her alma mater to study Cartography and Geographical Information Systems. A self-proclaimed public health nerd, her dream job is to communicate epidemiological information visually through beautiful interactive maps and graphics. She enjoys iced black coffee, punk rock music, and surprising people.