Monday, June 11, 2012

Friends Forever?

I have 580 Facebook friends.
77 followers orbiting around me in the Twitterverse.
And even 31 dedicated readers on this here blog.
But if asked to name my closest friends, I could count them all on my ten slightly-pudgy fingers.
And my absolute best friends in the world? Well that's only a select few.
One of whom is Rebecca Kasa, who has far too much blackmail material to ever be cut loose. And we can't forget Kevin Deluca, who I would frankly be afraid to leave to his own devices. ;-)
The point is that between Facebook, Twitter and the other numerous social media sites that clog up my free time, more than a few people have access to details of my life that I'd never share with them in a casual conversation.
It's become so easy in this day and age to be on autopilot accepting friend requests. To not think for a minute about the larger implications of opening up your photos, your statuses, your friend-to-friend contacts to the prying eyes of almost strangers.
And that includes those who were friends in the not-too-distant past.
There is an obvious taboo associated with de-friending. But why? Probably because there's a lot less drama in simply hiding someone from your newsfeed than completely evicting them from your Facebook world.
But I'm writing today in support of home foreclosure. 
No, I haven't recently engaged in a friend feed purge.
But tomorrow does mark the one-month anniversary of my college graduation, and darn it, I'd like to show I've learned something.
So here it is.
Friendships don't have to last forever.
Did you hear that?
That was the actual physical shudder I experienced typing out that sentence. 
Because it's a scary thought!
Who's going to keep me company in my old age if I start burning bridges at age 22? At 22 I can't even predict who drinks enough milk to be strong enough to support me in my old age!
But I think even at 22, or 27, or 19, or any age for that matter, I know in my heart what is healthiest for me as a human being. And as I'm growing up, I need to continue to understand that not every person that comes into my life is meant to be in it forever. 
My very good friend Monica shared a thought with me recently as I puzzled over this blog topic. 
It read:
"People come into your life for a reason, as season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person."
I write this post not trying to make us all into back-stabbing, ungrateful little friend ditchers, but to, instead, help us all out on our search for self-identity. 
I recently learned that as heartbreaking as it is at the time, sometimes creating distance between yourself and an old friend is exactly what you need to do to move forward.
We need space to grow, to flex our personality muscles and stretch ourselves across old boundaries.
And so, tonight, I leave you with the thought that you can't let Mark Zuckerberg forever rule your life with his blasted friend count.
Do what you need to do for you. And trust yourself.
It will all be okay in the end. And if it's not okay, it's not the end.