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General

Dear friend,

              Hi! How have you been? I hope you are doing well. I know you were probably shocked to find this letter in your mailbox. I mean, of all the ways I could have reached out, I chose to write you a letter. I know writing letters is pretty much outdated, but you know I’ve always been old school, even when we were still friends. Are we still friends? Nothing ever really came between us. We simply took different paths of life. I know we lost touch after I moved away, and I sincerely apologize for that. How is it that with all of today’s technology and social media and instant messaging, that we can lose touch with someone? Social media, it seems, works for a little while, but it simply doesn’t replace face-to-face contact. On social media, one can slowly become just another number to boost your followers, therefore making one seem more popular that they truly are, I guess.

              Anyway, I am writing to you because I found a picture of us as I was cleaning out some old boxes. My mom made me clean some things out of my room before I go off to college, and I found that picture you gave me for my birthday all of those years ago. Do you remember which one I’m talking about? It’s the one of us standing in the rain with our umbrellas. Your dad took that picture of us just a few weeks before I moved away. We were still in elementary school, and we were inseparable. It’s funny how a little bit of distance can completely shatter a relationship, even if it’s between friends as opposed to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Time and distance, I guess, is the perfect recipe for broken relationships.

              I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering when I became so cliché and cheesy. I honestly couldn’t tell you. I’ve changed so much, and I wonder how much of that is due to changing my environment and circle of friends- or lack thereof in my situation. When I first moved, I made a few friends, but because I moved right at the start of middle school, I got into petty girl drama and lost my entire group of friends. In hindsight, it was the dumbest drama ever, but it crashed my world. I know you don’t know this, but after that, I thought of you every day, even throughout high school. Again, I wonder how much of my situation changed me, or if I was just growing up. Where would I have been if you and I had stayed friends this whole time? Nature vs. Nurture- a theory that I learned about in my AP Psychology class- explores this question. Well, from my experience, I believe that my environment changed me in ways that I never could have dreamed. I realized that friends have an influence over a person that they may not even realize until they do something that they never dreamed they’d do- good or bad.

              When I lost all of my friends, I did anything I could to fit in with anyone who would welcome my company, even if that meant hanging out with the trouble makers and the bored teenagers who did a bunch of stupid things for fun. I started out doing small things that were out of character for me. Things such as skipping class and cheating on my tests and homework. My friends, or so I thought, wanted to go to an R rated movie one night with one of the kid’s older sibling. I know this doesn’t seem that bad, but I knew my parents would laugh in my face just for suggesting it. That’s why I lied to them about where I was going. After the movie, my friend’s brother wanted to stop by a friend’s place. “It’ll be just for a few minutes,” he said. “I just have to drop something off.” Little did I know that the something he had to drop off was drugs. When he got back into the car after dropping the drugs off, my friend asked if he could try some. By this point I was seriously uncomfortable because I knew the risks and I knew that it was wrong. It wasn’t just wrong by my parents either, but it was wrong by the law. Remember that pact we made to never do drugs after your mom overdosed? Well, I broke it that night. But don’t worry. I found something out a few years later, and my life has been forever changed because of it.

              During my junior year of high school, I made one new friend. We hit it off right away. We did everything together, so I was ecstatic when she asked me to go to her youth group every single Wednesday night. I am so glad I went. We got to take fun trips on weekends and in the summer and play fun games and eat junk food together every week. She introduced me to some of her other friends, and pretty soon, we were all hanging out together every day, even on the weekends. They helped me get away from my old group of friends. They introduced me to things I never thought I’d do or enjoy. For example, because one of them sang a solo in church, I agreed to sing a solo in church. I always hated singing in front of people, but because my friend did it and bugged me to do it, I eventually gave in. It’s funny to look back now and know that peer pressure works both ways. Those who pressured me to do productive things and pushed me to do my best were my true friends. On one hand it’s too bad that I had to learn that the hard way, but on the other hand, that lesson has stuck with me because I had to learn it on my own, without anyone to guide me through and help me avoid making mistakes. Mistakes: the most dreaded yet successful of teachers.

              I know you probably didn’t really care to read that much about what has happened in my life, because if you did, we probably never would have lost touch. But right now, as I’m writing this and remembering the place I grew up, I realized that we grew up together, and without you, I would have completely different experiences that would’ve shaped me in a completely different way. We experienced so many firsts together that no new environment could ever replace. We share memories of our first crushes and our first losses. We had the same teachers and the same peers. You helped me discover myself, even if I lost sight of that along the path to where I am now. I may have had to find the wrong friends to recognize the good ones, but now that I can differentiate between the two, I know, without a doubt, that you were more that just a good friend. You were the best. And I don’t mean that in a childish “You’re my best friend” kind of way. I mean that in the grown up “I could never possibly ask for a better friend than you” sort of way.

              We’re both going away to different colleges now, and that’s where we will enter a new phase of life. But no matter what we go through and experience, I hope that you will never forget that we both played a huge part in shaping each other, even though it seems like so long ago. We may have grown apart, but we started life in the same place. I hope, after reading this letter, that you will go through college and meet new people that will help you grow into the best person you can be. Watch out for people who will hinder you from success because they are out there. The people around us change us. Make sure you spend time with those that will change you for the better.

 

              Love,

              Your childhood best friend

May 06, 2020 00:44

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6 comments

Pragya Rathore
19:10 Jun 01, 2020

Wonderful and brilliantly written!! Please review my stories if you have time!

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L. M.
01:07 May 07, 2020

The structure of the story really complements the feelings and sentiment. Good job.

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Carlie Beth
20:06 May 06, 2020

I loved this! This made me want to reach out to my old friends. Just Wonderful ❤️

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Caroline G
21:12 May 06, 2020

Aww thanks!! I’m so glad you liked it!!

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✰ Jessica ✰
13:33 May 06, 2020

I love this honest letter from a childhood best friend, Caroline. If I happened to drift away from one of my old friends, this is definitely the way I would touch base with them again! I am very old school and write letters almost every week. I love the way you write. Can't wait to read more. Your writing is wholesome and enjoyable!

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Caroline G
21:11 May 06, 2020

Thank you so much! I also love to write letters, I really enjoyed writing this.

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