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In the past few years, I’ve managed to meet so many new people who have been such a positive addition to my life; yet, at the same time, I’ve also lost touch with people I once called close friends. I’ve always wondered why so many people come and go from our lives. I used to think it was a negative thing that people would stop being friends with one another or join new friend groups, as I assumed that you were bound to be friends forever.

It was as I grew older that I realized that all of these people serve a unique purpose in my journey, and I wouldn’t be who I am without both the good and bad experiences of certain friendships.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that not everyone comes into our lives to stay there forever. At some point or another, you may find yourself in a toxic relationship where a friend only radiates negative energy, ignites your insecurities and leaves you feeling drained after spending time together. These people may then exit your life, whether it’s by choice or because you distanced yourself.

In my opinion, the purpose of these relationships is to guide you towards a path you didn’t know you were meant to take; this person’s absence makes you stronger and wiser, and thus a better version of yourself.

While someone’s absence can teach you life lessons, there’s so much to be learned from someone’s presence as well. These are the genuine friends who stick around whose friendship makes life better. They help you see the incredible aspects of yourself that you didn’t even realize you had. You gain strength from this person’s presence as they make you happy and help you grow. People like this are some of life’s greatest blessings.

This last type of relationship is probably the trickiest to navigate as it enters a gray area. Some people come into your life, whether it’s for a few months or even years, and may even be a close friend; however, there comes a point where the relationship dies out because the connection isn’t there anymore, and there’s a mutual sense that the close bond no longer exists. I feel like these relationships exist to prove the reality that we have to let go of some people and simply appreciate the good memories that we shared with them.

With respect to both the positive and negative relationships, our friendships can teach us lessons about patience, sincerity, standing up for ourselves and even about our tendencies to judge others. Every friendship plays a role in shaping us into who we are today because the hidden guidance from these relationships leads us towards who we’re meant to be.

FRIENDS lover (the TV show and the social thing), US history fanatic, world traveler, and can typically be found eating spinach artichoke dip and tacos when not drowning in pre-med studies