Losing Friends and Moving On

Friendships? they’re one of the greatest things this life has to offer. With that being said, friendships must be handled with care. They’re a fragile bond that two people share.  It’s like two people carrying a very expensive item made of glass; the glass must be held equally from both sides to be carried around without breaking. If one person decides to not put in as much effort into holding it as the other, balance will be lost, and the glass will shatter to the ground. Once a friendship is shattered, just like glass, it will never go back to how it once was. Problems may be resolved and people may be forgiven and just like glass it may be put back together, piece by piece, but you’ll always see the cracks and you will always sense the difference no matter how much you tried to glue all the pieces back together to the way they once were.
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It is both a blessing and a curse to have such a big heart that is willing to give all its love to a friend. It is a blessing, because you get to make someone feel so loved and supported and in return they reciprocate the love and support. What else can anyone ask for? But unlike others, you … the one with the big heart … will never stop caring and will always keep giving, even when the other person has stopped giving back. That is what I call a curse.

 

I will not say that good friendships are not out there. I will not say that true friends are not out there. But what I will say is that nothing remains the same, not even “forever friendships”. Sure, people promise to always be there for each other no matter the time and distance that separate them and no matter how tough life gets. But who are we kidding? Life always gets in the way and changes us, changes our circumstances and ultimately changes the dynamic of our “forever friendships”.  I’ve been in enough to know, that nothing lasts for as long as you’d want it to. And you know what? It’s okay. Because life does not stop for anyone and you will move on. Time heals all wounds and just like that one friend came along, another will too. The cycle repeats itself. But hold on!! It gets easier every time. So, don’t let this world and the people that cross your paths make you bitter. Let every person that comes along and walks away, make you better; A better person that is still willing to love the next friend just as much as the first, with every broken piece of your fragile heart that they left behind. Learn not to hate them for letting you go but to love them for giving you something worth being broken over. It means you shared enough laughter and happy moments to make letting go so hard. As Atticus once said, we are made of all those who have built and broken us. Therefore, you won’t be the person you are today without them. They added a missing piece of puzzle to your masterpiece. Be the person who wishes them well and hope that someday they’ll give enough of their heart to a friend, the way you did for them.  Only then will they know the true meaning of loving someone with all your heart. Heartbreaks are not saved for lovers, they are made for friends too. And in my case, some friends broke my heart before any boy could.

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I think the hardest part is not knowing why. Wondering where you went wrong? What caused the change? Is there anything you can still do? But the truth is that sometimes it’s truly not you. It’s not something you did or didn’t do. It’s just that some people are meant to cross your path as a rest stop but not as a final destination. That doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough anymore or that you were too much to handle but it just means that that person got what they needed/wanted out of your friendship and had to move on; it’s no longer growing them. Just like a rest stop, people get what they need from it and get back on the road. They are on their way to their final destination. You can’t keep them at a rest stop because that’s not where they need to be or where they were headed. But keep in mind that they also cannot reach their final destination without resting, without your help. They need what you have to offer. Do not feel like you are being used either because you’re gaining from them as much as they’re gaining from you. Just like a rest stop, they were good for business, they were essential to your self growth. Of course, you don’t want to lose a customer, a dear friend, when they leave and head back on the road but there will be another customer right around the corner and maybe, just maybe, they have reached their final destination.

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What’s scary about friendships, and even relationships, is that they are choices we make. Unlike family, we are not born into friendships. Family members will always be your family whether you like it or not. They can’t wake up one day and decide to replace you with someone else, even if they wanted to. You are bond by blood ties and that’s that. On the other hand, we choose to be friends with someone. It is a risk we are taking, willingly taking. So, they might wake up one day and decide to replace you. It’s like risking getting a tattoo for a friend, its permanent but that friendship might not be. You might wake up one day and look at that tattoo, recognize the reason behind it, but not the person its tied to. The moral is, be wise about who you choose to give your all to because who you let in will always leave a mark on you that you can’t wash off, just like a tattoo.

 

Sometimes you’re going to get hurt when you no longer share the same friendship with someone who you truly care about and there are times when you hurt someone else because you’re the one letting them go but there are other times when it’s a mutual feeling, growing apart from each other.

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I read this saying the other day that I, honestly, have to admit is too accurate: “I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.”  This saying comes to show that some people just grow apart, grow apart enough that even saying hello is heavy. Those two people don’t have much in common anymore and having small talk with someone that you used to stay up all night talking to is even heavier. So why would anyone want to do that? No reason. And for that, we cross the street. Not to avoid them, but to avoid the small talk that reminds us that nothing remains the same … not even “forever friendships”.

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Leaving People Behind

I find that it’s quite difficult for me to communicate my thoughts or share my experiences unless something in my life inspires me to do so.

 Today, I am inspired.
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          Yesterday, I went on a little trip with a friend, Sarah, around the small town of Paracuellos, where I’m currently living in Spain.  Sarah and I met about a week ago, but I feel like I’ve known her for years. We made our way to a small hill on the edge of Paracuellos, to Mirador Picon Del Cura. The view was breathtaking from up there. We were engulfed in a rural area which is surrounded by the spacious airport of Madrid, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, that separates the charming town of Paracuellos from the irresistible city of Madrid. The city is as far as your eyes can see yet as close as your heart wants it to be.

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If you sit on the very edge of this tiny hill, the way we did with our feet dangling off the railing, the city lights and the few skyscrapers are at arm’s length, at least it seems like they are!! If you just reach out, the city is right there .. in the palms of your hands. The idea of it all is thrilling and the view was like no other, trust me (and Sarah).

We humbly and ecstatically enjoyed a small picnic which consisted of vino, a few pastries, and Oreos. I must say, it was one of the best dinners I’ve had in a while. Not for the food nor for the drinks but for the company and our surroundings. We enjoyed getting to know each other better on a deeper level and took in the beauty that surrounded us. Sarah came to Spain from Scotland and I came from .. well .. Lebanon? Florida? Maybe both at the moment. There we were, getting to know each other’s stories on a hill in one of Madrid’s most beautiful little towns. Who would’ve thought a week ago that I would gain my first Scottish friend and reside in Madrid today? Life’s weird, eh? Amazingly weird. To be honest, I wouldn’t have It any other way.

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I guess that that is the beauty of going after experiences and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone; you really never know what is waiting for you or who you might meet. You might experience things you never thought are out there in life or maybe things that you never thought could happen to you. You might meet people you never thought you could relate to or people you never thought you could get along with so much. You’d be surprised, because you will meet people that understand you, no matter where they come from or how old they are, even more than your closest friends .. those whom you spent most of your life with. The people you meet along the way are people you will relate to .. learn from .. and share the best moments with. Those are the people who want similar things in life. It is a beautiful bond you guys share, the bond of wanting more out of life and not settling; Not settling for mediocre jobs, half-arsed friendships, fake love and downhearted towns.

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“It’s in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.” – Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip

As you hop from one country to another seeking adventure after adventure .. you leave people behind. You leave loved ones behind. It is quite sad to think about leaving people. What’s upsetting isn’t the fact that you’re leaving but the fact that you’ll never come back as the same person. Travelling, experiences, and meeting people around the world from all walks of life change you. I find it hard sometimes to go back to what I call home without feeling the sense of change in myself and those around me. It is never the same. At first, it did overwhelm me because the only thing I never ever wanted to change in my life (those who know me know how much I love change) was how I felt about people and how they felt about me. I like to keep my good relationships constant, as strong as ever. But I realized how nearly impossible that is as we grow up and move around. It’s not that we don’t want to have the same relationships but it’s that we changed as people and that alone changes the dynamic of relationships. With time I learned that it is okay. In my opinion, it is the only price humans pay as they grow and experience; the relationships that mean the world to them will be altered with time. They will not become less important but just different; good different? Bad different? You will find out yourself. Once you do, you will know who to let go of and who you’ll keep forever.

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I thought of this as I was admiring the view with Sarah yesterday. As I mentioned earlier, the airport is a couple minutes away from where we were sitting; thus, we could see every single airplane landing and taking off. With every plane, I wondered where they flew in from and where they are flying to? What stories and experiences do these planes carry with them? How many misadventures? How many success stories? How many heartbreaks? How many soon to be lovers? How many families? best friends? It is all a marvelous thing to wonder about.

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As I was discussing all of this with Sarah, I noticed two planes taking off from different terminals at the exact same time heading in the same direction, then when they were high enough in the sky .. each one of them headed in the opposite direction. This got me thinking .. these two planes came to resemble friendships and leaving people behind in life. They started from a common point and took off from there. How do friendships form? People find something they have in common with another person and they go from there. It is all about a common start point, then the take off.  People, at some point down the line, start going after their own goals in life which lead them down different paths .. often away from their loved ones, just like these two planes which had two different goal destinations; thus, they parted ways.

It is mind-blowing how it only takes looking around us for a couple of minutes to notice how so many things around us represent different aspects of our lives and our journeys on this earth. These two planes offered me a new perspective on life, that even though friendships begin because two people are similar, it doesn’t mean their similarities won’t change; what brought them together may not bind them forever. Change and heading in different directions isn’t necessarily negative, on the contrary, the two planes that parted .. wherever they were headed, they were headed towards new beginnings and new experiences. Just like those two planes, two people who head in different directions .. head towards new experiences in life. Each of them will write his or her own story with a new beginning and a mysterious end.  Moving on in life can be hard when you leave people behind but life is about moving forward; it’s about gathering strengths to not look back. We could be reminded, every now and then, of all the memories and good times that we’ve shared with people we no longer have in our lives. The memories are there forever even if the people aren’t; they’re there to serve as a reminder and a lesson, day by day, that everything changes.. seasons, places, and even people .. and it is okay.

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Intangible Moments

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You know, there are moments in life, let me tell you .. Those moments that make life worth living; you feel like life’s good and that there’s so much to live for. You feel alive. You believe that everything’s going to be okay.

As you sit back in the car that’s accelerating with every flashback that crosses your mind, there comes a moment when a certain song comes on, that song that makes you feel something, feel something down to your core. You look out the window and take it all in, the city lights .. The tall buildings .. The pedestrians who each has a story to tell .. The cars rushing by .. The bridge you crossed that was once hand built by a group of very hard workers, and the wind oh the wind that caresses your face and blows through your hair creating tiny tangles that you couldn’t care less about at the moment. You know that feeling? Live it. Take it all in. Cause the car will eventually stop moving and the song your blasting will stop playing; all that you’ll have left are the memories of that very moment you just experienced, only for a couple of minutes, and the thoughts that were interrupted to come back and eat at you.

Sometimes I try to capture moments like this in several simple pictures.  Alas, as my friend Joelle says “you could never truly capture the full essence of something in front of you in a picture, but you can damn well try”.

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–  The thing about writing of moments like this is that you can’t go back and edit what you wrote. Just like a feeling that passes and cant be altered or felt again, describing a moment can only be done as you feel it, experience it, and miss it when it passes. You cannot go back and change it, which makes it an unaltered piece of expression, a raw emotion that I can try to explain but can’t be understood till personally experienced.

As i share this with my friend Joelle , She tells me how she loves ‘live in the moment’ type of mentality.

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I can’t help but be reminded of an unforgettable moment in time, a moment filled with genuine happiness. One late summer afternoon, on a beach in Florida, as the sun was setting into cotton candy skies and as the rainbows were reaching down to lay a gentle kiss on the calm waves of the ocean .. I remember her falling down into the sand, expressing to me and two of our other friends, that were accompanying us on our trip, how she lives to enjoy these moments, these peaceful moments in life when you look around you and you take in what you once thought could only be a piece of art; to realize that you’re living in an actual master piece!! She embodied what it is to appreciate the little things in life, the little moments, and the beauty that surrounds us each and every day.

 

 

I completly agree with her; all we need to do is look around us sometimes .. Take in the beauty of moments and live for them, live for the next time they come around.

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