Snakes go through a stage in their life cycles where they have to shed their skin. Now as uncomfortable as wikipedia says this process is, I mean I can imagine with no limbs and all, its part of nature. Now wikipedia goes on to say that the moulting of the skin occurs regularly. So it seems this process happens when the old skin is outgrown by the snake and during this time the snake will rub against rough surfaces to help shed their skin. Also one should note that during this process the skin will covers the eyes of the snake, making in vulnerable (so sad).
Now without taking the risk of literally comparing myself to a snake, I somewhat relate to this process, but for me it is a process I call the shedding of friends. It is a process in your life where you outgrow your old skin, meaning you go through a big change in your life and usually you loose some of your dearest friends. Just like a snake you become so vulnerable, because not only are you going through a big change in your life, you also loose some of your biggest cheerleaders and greatest confidants.
In my 20’s I think this process has happened twice, and was the hardest time of my 20’s (touch wood it doesn’t happen again). Loosing and detaching from some of my friends meant I no longer had people to sing to my favourite song with when it came on, I couldn’t speak our “language” anymore and I couldn’t just call up someone when I had a “tell someone moment” (or as I call it a “Cell C moment”).
The hardest part was that I had to pretend that it was ok. I had to pretend that I was comfortable with the fact that connecting with someone at such a “deep” and awesome level, and then loosing that connection, was part of life and I was ok with it. I am yet to meet someone at my age who openly discussed the pain you go through when you loose a friend (I must clarify that by loosing, despite it feeling like the death of a friend, does not refer to a friend actually dying).
So in going through this process, twice, I am also yet to meet someone in the same age group as I am, who has told me that it was ok to grieve the loss of a friend, that it was ok to feel lost and alone in a crowd when yours and the lost friend’s song comes on, that feeling sad was normal when you had great news to share and only wanted to call your lost friend, but couldn’t. I realised that protocol dictates that you move on casually and act like “all is good”. I mean how dare you say that loosing a friend somewhat broke your heart…you’re meant to have it all together and it is not like they were a partner… But the truth is, IT IS painful, IT DOES feel like the end of era and as much as you might try to get it back, its over.
I also noticed that just like most things in our 20’s, honesty is SO NOT the best policy. We go through life and post awesome pics on twitter, FB and Instagram (Gosh, bless Instagram) act like life is million dollars, is great and we will never dare to be honest.
But in grieving my lost friends, the ones I miss like they were a partner, I am grateful for the other lost friends that I have met, and for the new memories that I have had and will create. But I have to be honest… I do miss my lost friends, because no matter how many more friends I make and connect with, no one will ever fill their place nor will I ever meet somebody with their level of craziness or create the same awesome memories. I can only hope that I left the same impression in their lives as they did in mine.
So, this being the official grieving of my lost friends, I let Bennie Man, who was so on point when he said this, sign me out:
“Memories don’t live like people do
They always remember you
Whether things are good or bad
It’s just the memories that you have…”