Karolyn Sherwood, Author

The Power of Losing Friends and Being Okay With It

Quick, how many friends do you have? Not Facebook friends, or Twitter followers, not even People-who-will-come-to-your-funeral friends… but ‘It’s- 3 AM-and-I-need-to-talk-to-someone’ friends. Whoops, bet that number dropped a bit. Yes?

We all know a lot of people, but from my perch in life, I realize that true friends are rare. Yet sometimes good friends slip away. I’m here to tell you that we don’t have to feel badly about that—not necessarily.

People change and grow. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO! (Did I make myself clear there, with both CAPS and the exclamation point?)

My first marriage ended when I realized I had changed and my husband apparently didn’t want to accept that. (He might see it differently.) At first I felt badly about that, guilty even. Then I realized, how sad it would be if we were the same person at 31, 41, 51, 61 that we were at 21 (the age I got married). How sad if we never opened our eyes to new thoughts, dreams, goals, and wisdom. Or careers, or political parties, or sexual orientation.

It was difficult for me when I suddenly lost a set of good friends (at least I thought at the time they were) when I got divorced. But what was more difficult for me was, years later, when I realized some of my new “good friends” had faded out of my life. For a long time I wondered why I don’t talk to certain people anymore, whether I might have offended them, or what happened. Now I see that, perhaps, life happened, and that’s all.

I believe the theory that people come into your life at a certain time for a certain reason. We can learn from others, thank goodness. That being said, there are some good friends who fade away, possibly because we’ve learned our lesson from them, or because we grow one way and they grow another. Still, I grow nostalgic when I think of certain friends whom I rarely talk to anymore. Alas, life is busy.

People change, grow, evolve, like The Tree of Life. (Ooh, great segue into the new movie starring Brad Pitt that my (second & final) husband and I are going to see tomorrow.) This is a good thing. This is why Character Arc is so necessary and vital to the success of a novel. (Had to get the literary link in there somehow.)

Then again, sometimes friends have a falling out… But that’s a subject for another day.

One thought on “The Power of Losing Friends and Being Okay With It

  1. warriorwriters

    >You brought up an excellent point about why it is so important to have character arc. When we have characters that never change, learn, grow or mature, it registers as inauthentic and we lose the ability to connect with the reader. Yet, that connection is vital for good fiction.

    Great post.

    Kristen Lamb

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