An Open Letter to A Friend

Open letters seem to be all the rage, so I’m throwing my ass into the ring and writing one. Why not say these things to my friend (or friends) privately, face to face, over Tequila shots in a bar?

A large part of friendship is showing up’, wouldn’t you agree? Well, this is part of the problem, hence the open letter, although I think it’s also safe to say that this letter probably won’t be seen or read. I thought the letter was classier than summing up our relationship in 140 characters.

Dear Friend (s),

After 37 years, I’m changing the rules. I don’t want to play my part any longer. I’ve outgrown it, and it no longer fits.

Why didn’t I speak up earlier, you ask? Fear, ambivalence, laziness, uncertainty, and habit. Take your pick.

Having history isn’t a reason to accept less from you. Over the years I have tolerated, made excuses and fought with internal justifications, when it came to our friendship. Each time that I was disappointed, or I felt that you took me and our friendship for granted, I remembered the good old days and it allowed me to move on.

If I needed you, would you be there for me? I used to think that you would. I needed to believe that you would because then why else would we be friends? Why would I be friends with someone whose presence and loyalty I doubted? The truth is I have doubts.

Our friendship requires effort, just like your romantic, work and family relationships do. If it’s worth it, you put in the time because, well, you think it’s worth it!

We’re flawed, and we have annoying parts of our personalities, but I’ve always accepted those flaws. Now I think, to what end? For how long? Is what I’m getting back worth it?

Our friendship has always meant a lot to me. We’ve shared so much and for this, I am grateful. But what is the depth of our current relationship? Can I call it a friendship? Maybe our definition of friendship is different.

I can say with utmost confidence that I’ve been a great friend. Can you say the same? Do you even know what’s going on in my life? Have you ever read my work? In all of the years that I’ve been writing, I have never heard you comment one way or another. This is the most painful.

You have been neglectful and you expect me to understand, once again, because I’ve been forgiving in the past. Because I forgave in the name of friendship. I don’t think I have any more to give.

This has been a one-way street, and it feels like shit. It’s not like this with any other friend. What makes you think that the standard, garden variety friendship rules, don’t apply to you?

People change. Circumstances change. We grow, we move, we evolve. I understand. But if I can’t count on your friendship than what’s the point to any of it?

I have always tried to see your good, and there’s a lot of it. I’ve defended you when others called you selfish and narcisissictic because I knew that there was so much more. It’s become harder to do so.

I love you but I’ve changed. Feeling ignored and feeling that our friendship is inauthentic has grown tiresome. I expect to be treated how I treat others and I can’t accept anything less. Simple.

My expectations are not unreasonable nor high. I have people in my life; busy people who have jobs, families, responsibilities and guinea pigs, but they’ve accepted their role as my friend and we both show up.

It’s been an evolution and now I must self care. I will always love you.


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