“Ever since I moved away…”

Anonymous: Ever since I moved away to college, my relationship with my friends has become more distant. Whenever I return home for the holidays it’s not the same as it was when I lived at home. The energy, the vibe, the interactions all seem contrived and inauthentic. Maybe I’m just being paranoid and maybe I’ve isolated myself since I’m away at school, but I feel that my friends may not like me anymore and that they may think I’m dead weight. What do you think? Do my friends not like me anymore or do you think I’m just overthinking everything?

Usually, I would say if you have to ask then you already know the answer. But in this case, maybe you are wrong. Maybe the distance you are noticing is just you evolving and growing with life. And sometimes when we evolve the people closest to us may not evolve with us. Meaning that the part of our journey that we experienced with them may be done and over with.

Not everyone is meant to walk with us through life forever. There are seasons for a reason and not everyone is for every season. It’s okay to grow and evolve and for our relationships to grow and evolve as well. 

And it is very telling that your first instinct is to believe that something is wrong with you, that the distance you are feeling is because your friends no longer like you or accept you for you. Almost as if there is something wrong with you and that you knew that one day this time would come. That you knew your friends, and maybe others, would recognize that you weren’t and aren’t ‘good enough’. And that thinking is wrong, so very, very wrong. 

You are amazing and perfect as you are. And listen, if someone doesn’t like you that is their problem. A person’s opinion of us is not any of our business. And it has no reflection on the amazing beings that we are or how we perceive ourselves. So no, the distance that you are feeling has nothing to do with you being lesser than or not good enough or acceptable enough. 

It’s quite natural to lose friends when you head off to college. Not everyone you got started with will be the ones you end with. And don’t think of the ending of these relationships, if they are ending, as something to be sad over. Those people and relationships have taught you so much about yourself, the world, and others. And its’ okay to say goodbye and thank them for walking with you thus far but now you are open to others and for others to walk with you on your journey for however long you see fit.

Now, do you honestly think you are isolating yourself? I don’t think that’s the case. Albeit I don’t have tons of information to go on, but I don’t think it’s true. I think you’re looking for someone to blame and if you are to blame someone or something, it’s life. What you are experiencing is the natural progression of life. 

In life, you will lose people, sometimes at their behest and other times at your own. It’s natural. And it’s okay to mourn the loss of the friendship, if that is the case, but don’t wallow. See this time and this experience as an opportunity for you to grown and evolve and for you to be open to more amazingly, kind individuals entering your life.

Change is a natural part of life and sometimes those changes are changes in relationships and friendships as well as in ourselves. Changes are always positive even though we like to view them as negative, disruptive and scary. They just mean that we, as well as our minds and needs, are growing and evolving and that we aren’t remaining stagnant. Which is a good thing. 

Now, with all that being said, if you truly want to get to the bottom of it all, just communicate with your friends. Invite them out to a neutral place, maybe even a place that holds great memories for you all, and just talk with them. Tell them how you feel and what you are thinking. Ask them if they feel the distance in the relationship and see if they wish to work on the relationship moving forward as you do.

You can’t keep worrying whether or not if they want to be in your life and walk with you on your journey. So, just take the bull by the horns and communicate with them. And no matter the outcome, it would be a great idea to focus on your self-love and self-confidence. Have such a strong love for yourself that the actions and perceptions of others have no bearing on the love you give yourself, how you treat yourself or the thoughts you think about yourself. 

And hey, maybe this experience is freeing you up of time so that you can focus on increasing your self-love, self-confidence, and self-acceptance. It’s never a bad idea to focus on yourself and increasing your self-worth from your own eyes. So, just play around with the idea and see if focusing on your self-confidence and self-love is something you would be interested in at this point in time.

Now, I hope I have given you a lot to contemplate and ruminate on. And I hope you choose the next steps that are right for you and I hope you get the answers you are searching for. Good luck on your quest and just know that I am always here for you and with you.