Throughout the course of the summer, I finally wrote back to my fourth grade teacher who sent a card to me after my high school graduation. I never got a chance to respond until a year later. During my time at home, I had more time on my hands than ever and wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the relationships I have not been able to develop. Therefore, I’ll start off with a letter to my best friends whom I have not seen since January.
Dear best friends from high school,
I remember that moment we graduated. That day, once red caps went flying in the air, I realized how many people were about to embark on a new journey in their lives. For all of us, as soon as we could get out of those chairs, we all scrambled to find our friends. It was hard to find anyone within the blurs of red caps and gowns. There were many people that I was unable to find that night, and that was fine. I just wanted to find you guys because our friendships have lasted since elementary school.
I remember when we were children and dreaming about what life would be like during high school and as we grew up, those dreams were now what we would do after high school. Perhaps, we were naive to believe that we would always be together. During graduation, it was not a goodbye to our friendships. However, it was a goodbye to our high school selves. It was time to grow.
The statistics of the amount of friendships we would be able to sustain post-high school was worrisome. No matter how much I would tell myself to go with the flow, it is hard to watch yourself distance from the people who made life feel like home. We did the best that we could, and we met up when we could. Although I have to admit, our planning skills need some improvement.
In college, I felt myself thrive in a different environment. My phone that once lit up with texts from you guys were replaced with new names and other events for me to go to. I noticed it, and I let it fall away from my thoughts, thinking that this was bound to happen. But that was not the case. Because when my birthday came, you remembered it even though I asked you to pretend that it does not exist every year. And when one of us needed help, everyone else would eventually come in to be there for each other.
Although, retrospectively, I think time did a good thing for us. We are finally on our own individual path of growth. I have seen each one of you thriving in your own way, pursuing your passions or thriving with newfound independence. It was not until recently that I realized that you all probably felt that way too. Feeling a little worried about our long-distance friendship while still wishing each other for their well-being.
I just want to remind you that you are not alone even though we are so far apart. I am happy for social media because this has helped us connect with each other. For the first time, we really missed each other on our birthdays. But like I said to you guys, I will always be there to celebrate your birthday even if we celebrate it months later. We will get through the distance somehow and even if we cannot, I would be glad to say that we tried.
The next time I see you all, I know we will be different people since the last time we saw each other in person. However, I think that rather growing apart, we grew together. They say that if you love someone, you let them go. I hope that during the time we were unable to speak with each other that you found the time to follow your dreams or expand the circle of people you know. I think what we need to remember is that we went different ways for a reason, and I hope that reason for you has helped you grow more since the day we took our first steps away from each other.
Your best friend from high school