I don’t know why but recently going on Instagram has been making me feel sad… maybe because when I realise that people I follow who I used to be close with don’t follow me, it feels like a rejection. Like they no longer care about me. People who I counted as my best friends at one time.
And then I realise that it’s not a rejection, it’s how life goes. We move and we move on. And when we move, we drift apart. It can hurt to look back and wish things were the same, but they aren’t. Instead we should look at the memories with fondness, but with the realisation that they’re in the past.
I’ve always changed locations drastically at different stages of my life. Whether changing schools, choosing universities or packing up and moving to the other side of the world. Either deliberately or accidentally, I’ve always left people behind. I never wish for my friendships to be left behind too, but sometimes they are. All I can do is try my best to preserve and maintain the friendships I want to keep and hope that others do the same with me.
But I also need to remember that friendships don’t always end because of a loss in closeness. Time might go by and suddenly you’re close again. And honestly, that feeling is so much stronger and meaningful than any unfollow.
And also, the new friends I’ve gained totally make me feel better. Apparently the human brain can actually only really accommodate a certain number of friends, and as new people enter, and new priorities arise, sometimes people can change from close friends to acquaintances. Its called the ‘Dunbar number’ theory. As life unfolds, when we change our hobbies or location, the way we use our time changes too, and our social circles change to follow suit. It’s natural!
So it’s okay for your old friends to fall out of friendship with you, and it’s also okay to be sad about it. But after you’re sad, try to make time to remember the friends you’ve kept, the friends you’ve made and what you’ve learnt from each and every relationship with them.