I decided to slowly start introducing different series’ on my blog in an effort to not write so haphazardly anymore, as well as to hold myself accountable and try to write more consistently.
My first series called “Spilling Tea” isn’t actually about gossip at all. This series is about being up front and honest about the issues that we all face and the feelings we hide away, even from ourselves. It’s a way for me and you to open up, no holds barred. So, here we go…
To replace is the act of filling a role previously occupied by something or someone else WITH something or someone else, or so says Google Dictionary. Sound familiar? Good.
At 23, I can tell you the exact moment I knew I had been replaced. My then best friend who I had known since I complimented her sparkly socks in our Kindergarten class, dropped me like last year’s worst outfit. On the first day of 7th grade, she walked up to me, smiling and waving. Before I could get a word out, she said:
Hey Miranda! You can go sit with your other friends now. Okay?
The catch was that I had no other plans to sit with anyone else, but I knew that as she turned around and began walking away, with not even a glance behind her to see if I was okay, I would never be her best friend again. Gone were the days of three hour phone conversations, weekly sleepovers, and promising each other we would be best friends forever. Gone were the days of karaoke competitions and book club meet-ups, planning the future and dreaming of our lives as the adults we have now become. It hurt. Especially because I didn’t see it coming. At all. I’ve had friendships, many in fact, come and go since then, and yes, I know the feeling of being second best all too well. I can confidently say, even today, that worst feeling in the world, the most harsh realization, is when you know you’ve been replaced. But perhaps the worst is when it happens without warning and you’re dropped so quick, you haven’t the time to react.
I think this is worse now in the social media age because everything is so noticeable, even the slightest change in the best friend routine. You know what I’m talking about: you’re constantly tagging each other in relatable memes, taking selfies together, going on trips, “living at their house”, texting day in and day out. You sit and plan your life in 30 years, including with absolute certainty, that person that you cannot see yourself living without.
Then. Everything changes. And just like that you begin to notice communication dwindling: No more memes, selfies, trips, or planning each other’s futures. They go from answering your texts every day to every other day, when you invite them to hang out, it looks the same but it definitely doesn’t feel the same. You know, that gut feeling all best friends have when they know they’ve been aced out? Yeah, that one. Then you see the memes that are no longer meant for you, the snapchats and the Insta selfies. When you do eventually hang out with them, it seems forced or the other person seems more interested in their new BFF, they don’t seem to care about you. At least not the way they used to. So then, once communication comes to a close, if you are sensitive and empathetic like me, you wonder what you did wrong.
It hurts for days, weeks, even months after. It hurts to see the friendship unfold right before your eyes, it hurts to wonder and question, and it hurts when you hear that person call someone else their best friend. I don’t care how old you are, that’s the worst feeling ever. Especially when you question yourself and your worth, and continue to put in effort even though you know it won’t be reciprocated, no matter how hard you try. But you have hope. Then one day that hope manifests itself in something new: another friendship. Then, you start to forge a new path and you start to realize that the important thing about friendship is that it remains consistent, even if time has passed.
As an adult, I now understand what it means to be a part of the working world and what it means to live in that world while still maintaining old friendships and cultivating new ones. In my dream world, I would see my best girlfriends every day, but with work and school and marriages and pregnancies and babies, that just isn’t the case. But I’ve learned that those who put in the effort, even if communication is sporadic, are the ones who are worth keeping around. And the ones who drop you like a bad habit? They don’t deserve your effort.
And if you’re wondering why you’re not worth it or why you’re suddenly second best, remember this:
You can’t let people make you feel down about yourself. You’re gold. Some people will always prefer silver and that’s okay, You’re still gold.
What are some of your friendship stories, whether positive or negative? What did you learn? How did it affect you?