• Mckenzie Dow

Did we just break up?

Two weeks prior to my departure, and I've hit a little bump in the road. I've seen it coming for a while to be honest, but in the context of my own journey, it certainly isn't something I wanted to happen. In the context of her own journey, she probably feels the same.

I've been through break-ups with significant others before, but a best friend? I've never been through a breakup with a friend before. In all of my friendships, big fights are very few and far between, like the rarest but ugliest gem in the jewellery store. It rarely happens and when it does, it isn't pretty on anyone.

Right now I feel sad, disappointed, and angry. In the beginning, I felt that I could have done more, that there were things that I could have done differently. As this friend was telling me that I was a selfish and bad friend, it was hurtful and made me very sad and angry. The past year of my life has been my busiest yet. I was involved in so many things, including running a volunteer organization, applying to graduate school, being a maid of honor in two weddings, working double the hours at my job, and being an RA, along with being in the beginning of a a new relationship. I was incredibly involved on campus and engaged in the world around me. Overall, I was stretched thin throughout the year and couldn't give to my friends as much I wanted to. I couldn't go to the bar every Thursday. I couldn't go apple picking on the weekends when I had too much work to do for graduate school applications. I couldn't make every lunch because of meetings. As my friend told me I did not care about our friendship, many of those moments from the previous year came back to me, and I did feel bad, like I could have tried harder.

As I woke up the morning after our blowout, I found myself laughing. Why? It was because when I was thinking back on the year, I can honestly say I tried my best. I worked hard at my friendships. I was absolutely better at answering text messages, talking about boys less, and making time. I can confidently say that I tried my hardest. In reflection, I realized I did my best. In hindsight, I found this person's remarks to be hypocritical and plainly untrue. My laughter the next morning was a reflection of a sudden rush of positive energy I was feeling. It stemmed from my excitement of a new beginning in Dublin, happiness about what I've accomplished, and the release of the negativity that was consistently weighing on my me from a friendship that involved her unspoken grudges and constant complaining.

I am leaving to pursue my dream in two weeks. I am throwing myself into a professional future, the same way my friend is doing. Personally, I find that I cannot hold onto negativity that stems from the people around me. I refuse to be brought down. We all have problems that go on in our lives. We all have experienced or will experience hardships such as grief over the loss of a loved one, overwhelming classes and exams, rejections from potential jobs, and relationship troubles, but if you let these negative experiences weigh on you forever, you will never find happiness. There will always be something to complain about, or someone to be angry with. This is no way to live, so I refuse to let someone else dictate how I feel two weeks before I embrace my dreams.

I do think that there are things I could have done differently to prevent a friendship from falling out. I should have communicated better with my friend. There were times where I also felt bothered by things she was doing and I should have said something. For all the times that I felt unwilling to spend time with my friend because of her negativity or drama, I should have said something. To her it probably came off as me just blowing her off or not putting in any effort when there was really a lot more going on behind the scenes.

So for anyone going through a friend break up, here is what I would tell you. Be honest to yourself and your friend about what you could have done differently. Keep communication lines open. Don't say hurtful or cruel things just because you're angry, instead be mature and respectfully have a discussion if you think it is worth it. In the end, if you tried your best, and your friend tells you that it wasn't good enough, then maybe the break-up is for the better.

Now I'm not sure if my friend and I have actually "broken-up" or not, but I do know that I will take this experience and learn from it.

**Edit: After a few days of silence between my friend and I, she finally reached out and we both apologized to each other like adults. My friend and I have not broken up and remain besties after some discussion about our feelings and such.

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