As a Military Brat and a Third Culture Kid (TCK), I’ve never stayed in one place for more than four years. I move to a new place, leaving old friendships behind. There’s promises to keep in touch . . . but it never really works out. People move on, make new friends. Eventually there’s only the occasional “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Birthday” Facebook message.
As a TCK, you think you’d grow numb to these lost friendships eventually. You tell yourself it’s fine, that they’re moving on too, that you had a good run, and this unfortunate ending was unavoidable. But the heart clings to these people, even when you don’t want it to. It seems like every lost friendship leaves a small tear in your heart. One or two tears hurts, but you make new friends and move on. But when you lose five-plus close friends every time you move . . . the pain of loss begins to add up.
I admit I’ve struggled with depression my entire life. I feel that it’s safe to assume that my nomadic TCK lifestyle had a part to play in my development of this disorder. Moving on is difficult, and as a result I’ve grown to fear getting too close to anyone, knowing we’ll likely part ways away eventually.
I can see a dying friendship from a mile away, and I don’t know how to react. Do I let it die peacefully? Or do I frantically cling to it and the fleeting possibility that it might last a little while longer?
I can see a dying friendship from a mile away.
At this point in my life, I realize the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve failed to keep these friendships alive. But at this point, so many years later, I fear it’s too late to make contact with some of these people. Writing out of the blue feels awkward and forced, and I become too embarrassed to actually send that Facebook message.
So let this be a public apology to all of the lost friends out there:
I’m sorry we didn’t keep in contact as well as we would have liked. I’m sorry I don’t text, call, or write you anymore. We may have gone our separate ways, but I cherish the good times we spent together. Thank you for being my friend.
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