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I was talking to someone new that I met, and we were discussing friendships. She said that sometimes people are there for an instant, sometimes for a little while, and sometimes for many years. It got me to thinking that we need to be grateful for our friendships, no matter how long they last.
I think most people probably hope that the friendships they make will be long term. We want people that we like to stay in our lives for as long as possible. Sometimes though, it’s just not meant to be. Sometimes the relationship will be a short term one, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t valuable or that we should be upset when it ends.
I never like to see a friendship end, and I sometimes try too hard for too long to keep things together that are simply beyond their expiration date. As I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes people just grow apart. It happens and we have to accept it, whether we like it or not. Sometimes all we get is one day or one brief period with someone. We can choose to be upset that it didn’t last, or be grateful that it happened at all.
In our disconnected world full of unhappy people, meeting someone that you like, even for a short while, and sharing something good with them is a miracle. It shouldn’t be that way, but until the world changes for the better, we all need to count our blessings for whatever good we can get. Of course, being grateful for all the good people we meet, whether they’re friends for life or for the length of a single social media conversation, sets us up to have more good relationships in the future.
I think there’s a balancing act that we all need to do, between trying to keep a friendship going and accepting that it could be over at any time. And knowing that someone could be gone at any moment does give you a greater appreciation for the time you have. The thing is, you have to occasionally think about that fact, that everything is temporary, or you’ll never be able to appreciate it. Understanding the frailty and time limit on relationships doesn’t have to be depressing, it can be a way to not take people for granted and more deeply enjoy them while you have them.
As I meet new people now, even if it’s just a friendly clerk at a store of a small conversation online, I’m learning to be more appreciative. And as people flow in and out of my life, I’m thinking of them in a new light, and really feeling appreciative of the time we had. I’m actually looking back on a lot of people that I’ve lost and feeling grateful for the good times we shared, even if there were a lot of bad ones too.