To the ones who will never quite understand,
I read an article recently that made me sad, not only because I could relate but because it was so real. It was about those friends we all have and assume will be around forever.
I had friends from a young age that I couldn’t imagine not meeting up for coffee or having long chats with, the type who no matter how long has passed you still connect instantly with. At least it used to be that way. Things change, life moves on and we all develop every day, grow into new people. Sometimes its hard to accept that people just aren’t meant to be in your life anymore or that maybe effort needs to be made to change the type of friendship you have.
I still remember and smile at the memories we have and at our crazy antics but I know it will never be that way again. I know many of the people I used to call ‘best friends’ don’t understand why I am still part of the cancer world, why I don’t have the same goals and why we don’t have much in common anymore. That’s ok, they can never understand and I wouldn’t want them to know what it’s like. They can’t understand why I don’t want to go out drinking after a long week or why I’m not interested in finding the perfect relationship.
I’ve found new friends, ones who get it, ones who know that life changes after having cancer as a teenager, that having a long term condition means I can’t just get a job in a shop and stand stacking shelves all day, means that I have to cancel, rearrange and alter plans sometimes because my pain is so unpredictable. I won’t be joining you in buying a house just yet or in searching for ‘the one.’ My perspective is different and I honestly don’t care about those things for me, I’m happy for you and wish you luck but I want to follow those dreams I have while I can. I want to come back home and tell my niece all the crazy things I’ve been doing. I want to be that person that doesn’t ignore an oppurtunity because they’re saving for the future. To alot of people that’s reckless, for me, it’s taking the chance I have and running with it. I want to cram in as many random experiences as I can before I have a hip replacement and have to take time to get back on my feet after. (Not that I won’t be doing those things after.)
I know that in the last year it seems like I don’t tell you as much, it’s because I know it’s so far removed from what you envision for your future, so far from what our shared goals used to be and I’ve noticed the distance too. The distance that means maybe we won’t ever be how we were, we’re different people and I think I always knew it would end up like that. It hurts and I’ll always want to be a part of your life but that’s ok, maybe we can find a different rhythm now.
I’m not the person that you will go out drinking and partying with every weekend, once in a while yes but not all the time. I’m not the person that you can go on double dates with (at least not right now) and I’m not the person you can trust to know what you’re talking about when you buy a new house and need to get a plumber round, one day I will be but that’s not today.
I am the person that will be here to listen, will be happy for you and celebrate your achievements with you, be proud of you and be here to pick you up when things don’t quite go to plan. I’ll be the one that will have lots to say about what they’ve been doing but not neccessarily about work, relationships, having children or houses. My kind of busy is volunteering, meeting a range of people and making some amazing friends from across the country and beyond. My kind of busy is looking for a job that will suit me, that will mean I’m not in pain or exhausted at the end of every day, my kind of busy is sitting up late at night watching the stars and last minute trips for dinner in London.
I used to feel like I was being left behind in the stages of this growing up thing, there are the typical expectations. College, uni, work, house, family. Now I know that I’m not, I just have a different path and want different things to the people who have kept those goals. That’s ok, one day I’ll want those things and one day I’ll work it out, maybe then you can be my source of advice and my go to person.
I wish you all so much happiness and will always be proud of you. All of those ‘best friends’ will have a special place in my heart and the door will always be open to connect again.
Until then I’m happy to be the one without a plan, with friends all over the country that can relate and enjoy late night conversations whilst watching the stars. And be the one here for you when you need someone with a different perspective