Friends Jumping at Beach Wedding

J U M P

Friendships are hard.

All relationships are, honestly.

They take a lot of work. Sometimes it seems as though one person is putting in more of that work, more effort to see each other and make plans.

But that’s just life. It’s not easy. But it’s so, so worth the effort.

Girlfriends with M&M in NYC

Me and Tina. And the Blue M&M. Times Square (2017)

There was an entire chapter of my book that my editor suggested that I axe. It was about my friendships. Some that I’ve had over the years that haven’t survived, and most that I still have today.

My editor pointed out, however, that this specific chapter didn’t add value to the rest of my story.

Which doesn’t mean that they didn’t add value to my life. They most certainly did. Even the ones that I don’t have any more.

I appreciate the role that the friends I no longer have played in my life. Sadly, not all of those friendships ended well. I still think about those people sometimes.

I highly doubt that they think of me. But something inside of me thought that they deserved a place in the pages of my book.

At the end of the day, it was up to me whether to keep those stories or delete them. Just as it was to not include the stories from my childhood that show that growing up wasn’t all bad.

The choices were really hard, but I made them for myself, without concern for others and what anyone would think.

I believe that I made the right decisions. I am completely happy with the way that Letters to the Mountain turned out. Some people see things differently. They think that friendship is an integral part to any lifetime, and that perhaps the stories about private times shouldn’t be shared with everyone or aired as “dirty laundry”.

And that’s okay.

I don’t want to live my life asking permission.

I refuse to be ashamed of things that others can relate to, or that may add value to their lives.

The bumps make it all worthwhile. How do we know how far we’ve come if we can’t remember where we’ve been?

What value do my current friendships have if I have nothing to compare them to? If the feelings they evoke have to stand on their own.

I won’t ever know that, of course, given my history.

But I am in charge of choosing my path going forward. And I choose to keep those friends around that make me feel special, support me through the bumps and turns, and that I know will be there. At least right now.

Remember your Fri-ends*,

Anya

*hahaha who remembers these necklaces? This is probably where I should insert a "if you exchanged one of these necklaces with a friend, it's probably time for eye cream" joke.

Woman Kissing Man's Cheek

My BFF (2010)

Friends Selfie (2012)

The Wyerdanos

Friends at Letters to the Mountain Launch Party

Jaimie and Becky at my book launch

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