Have You Ever Experienced A BFF Break-Up?

Losing a friendship can feel as traumatic as the breakup between a loving, long-term couple. Sometimes it’s almost more devastating, because we expect our best friendships to stand the test of time. We’re taught that romantic relationships come and go, but that our friendships last, especially friendships between women.

In my twenties, I went through a few close friend breakups. At the time, I couldn’t understand why, and that made me feel ashamed. I thought to myself – am I a fundamentally flawed human being who’s incapable of sustaining friendships? Am I an awful person who people don’t want to be friends with? Am I too selfish, flakey, etc.? Over time, I came to realize it’s actually quite normal to lose friends, especially when you’re in your twenties.

I had a falling out with one very close friend in particular that devastated me. We met in junior high school and stayed friends until our early 20s. She was a soul mate level friend, the kind of friend that comes around a few times in your life. Everyone else could see it, how close we were – we spoke the same language without speaking. I loved how smart and funny she was. She thought about deep things in the world – why we were here on the planet, what kinds of people we wanted to be, our deepest fears, and all those sorts of things.

Long story short, we fought and we didn’t recover. In hindsight, I would fight harder for the friendship. At the time, I was scared of her, of hurting her more than I already had, and since I’m a non-confrontational person generally, I tried to repair the friendship in small ways. But, looking back, I realize I didn’t try hard enough.

I can honestly say it’s taken me years to get over it, and I still don’t think I am fully over it. I hadn’t thought about being in touch with her again until last week, when almost a decade later, I got an email from her. I was so excited/scared/hopeful/nervous that it took me several days to even OPEN the email. When I did, I immediately started bawling my eyes out. I could hear her voice through the email and  I was flooded with memories. It wasn’t an angry or ‘bad’ email; I cried because I missed her and I didn’t realize how profoundly I did until I read the email.

I’m not sure what’s next for us. I wonder if there’s any way for us to get that friendship back. There are so many barriers to even getting back a new ‘starter’ friendship. We don’t even live in the same city anymore. We both lead very different lives.

Have you ever experienced a best friend breakup? Did you ever reconnect with that friend?

PS – For anyone interested in exploring the phenomenon of friendships ending and how to deal, check out Dr. Irene Levine’s The Friendship Blog. It’s a great resource for all things friendship.

Would You Live In A Cave Far Away From Everyone?

A lot of people have asked me if I would ever leave New York. My answer is usually ‘no’ but that’s a lie.

My family is here. My friends are here. My stories are here. I travel away from the city all the time, and I only truly feel at home once I’m back in NYC. Because New York City is and has always been my home.

And yet…what if…

I feel like I could possibly be happy living somewhere else. Who knows? Perhaps I just don’t know yet because I haven’t experienced it. Not once in my thirty years have I ever moved anywhere but New York permanently. I’ve studied abroad, and travel more than half of the year, but it’s not the same as truly living in another location.

My really good friend is going through a breakup right now. We’ve been talking about it a lot. We’ve also been talking about being single and all types of challenging experiences that have happened recently. Yesterday, he texted me saying: ” The biggest takeaway for me from this week is that we should go live in a cave far away from everyone.”

It’s a humorous thing to say, and somewhat melancholy, but I think the best humor has both truth and melancholy in it.

“A place to call home” has been a recurring conversation topic for me in the past few weeks. Jane, my amazing co-blogger, has been debating leaving LA for months (years?) and only now has decided that she’s likely going to return to New York this summer. Another one of my friends just moved to San Diego, and is quickly moving back to New York again. I wrote an article on this blog a few months back about my coworker who paid off her whole condo by the time she turned 30! And I recently read an article about a woman in China who has lived in a cave for 3 years surviving on rainwater and rice! (That last article is very strange and also quite melancholy- just a warning.)

And then there’s the just as bizarre tiny home… Have you heard of these? Lately they’ve come up a lot in conversations I’ve had. And I recently read an article about Dee Williams, who lives in a tiny gingerbread house on wheels  (really!) and pays only $8 a month for a single propane heater. She only paid $10,000 for the initial construction of the place. Her mini home is 84 square feet and no larger than a parking spot!

Are you guys happy with where you live? Have you lived in the same city/state/country your whole life or have you moved a lot? Do you feel like the thirties are more of a time to settle down …or is this perhaps a time to spice it up and try somewhere new?

Strangely enough, both Dee Williams with her tiny house and the cave dwelling woman in China say that even with their bizarre living situations, they actually rely on their communities more than ever. Finding a home that’s not in a big city truly doesn’t necessarily equate to being isolated. The cave dweller’s neighbors from local villages frequently bring her offerings to help her out- such as rice to eat, as well as their used coats. Dee Williams said about her tiny home, “”I thought I would be so contained in this little house with no running water. The big surprise, of course, is the smaller you go, the more you absolutely have to lean into your community. It gets smaller and bigger. It gets to be this big, tiny thing, you know?”

tiny house

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