The Princess and the Pauper
Except there will be no understanding of the other's trials.
I had a friend who I loved and trusted very dearly. I feel like we all have had that kind of friend many, many, many times. And it usually ends the same. Something breaks that bond, that loyalty, and you're left with nothing but some anxiety for the next one to come.
Growing up is strange and unusual. You don't know why something happened or why you made that choice, but by the time you question it, the damage is settling in. This friend was that choice and I, unfortunately, question that choice frequently. Let's call her Kate. Kate was someone I knew from high school and we weren't super close all the time, but we had a strange bond. No matter what happened or how many months became between us, we always seemed to form back together. We never had issues as we got older and we always raised each other up. Kate didn't have many issues to begin with. Not in the sense that her life was easy, more in the fact that she didn't do anything to cause issues. She was quiet and bubbly and energetic and on and on and on and on. She was all around good and any liked her.
Unfortunately, life had an odd way of changing this once shining girl, to an introverted, unfiltered person. She didn't embrace it well. We didn't talk for some time after we graduated. We always followed each other on social media and always checked the profiles, but nothing more. No texts, no phone calls, no contact. I saw her a few times in 2016 and truly had a blast. In 2018, I saw her again at an event my mother was hosting and she changed a little, but she was still Kate. Shortly after, I did get a message from her and we started up a new friendship. We started hanging out on the weekends and texting constantly. She was always so generous and wanted to do lunches and manicures. I loved having her in my life, but that love was something that I would only dream about as the year went on.
Kate and I grew closer and shared many secrets, but little did I know, she wasn't the same girl I knew in high school. Kate's heart had changed and she was a little harsh at times. She criticized me for not working as much and how I acted. We had met new friends throughout the year and every single hangout brought out a new quality. I started noticing the underlying issues and the weight she was carrying and I lent a hand. Emotionally, that is. I truly didn't have a lot of materialistic things to give and my life wasn't offering me as much free time as life went on, but I did my best. There were three qualities about her that made me change my view on life.
The first one: Greed.
I never viewed money as an issue or a necessity to happiness, but Kate did. She was constantly thriving for the green and strikes down anyone who said otherwise. I have no issues with someone wanting to make more money, but she valued your worth based on how much you could spend. My example, her birthday was coming up and none of us could make it to the bar, because of HONEST TO GOD life issues. She blamed us for being poor and selfish. (Insert eye-roll).
The second one: Insecurity
A lot of people deal with insecurity, but how she handled it was troubling. Kate wasn't skinny, but she wasn't overweight either. She had a very cute hair cut, that she usually wore up and wore little to no makeup. She was a very cute girl and was fun to be around, but she constantly needed reassurance that she was still valuable. Now before anyone gets nasty, I am totally okay with building confidence to a point. She needed it everyday and for things I had no control over. Boys, us not talking, other friends, family drama, someone looked at her weird, the list goes on. She would drag us down to be at the same level as her, but try to make up for it in material items.
Which leads us to our third one: Friendship
I loved Kate and I trusted her, but these are past tenses for a reason. Kate was a great friend, when she wanted to be and it usually meant she got something out of it. We grew up and I started a new life with someone and she didn't like that. She wanted to be included and feel loved all the time, but she lacked being loved by herself. She wasn't the most amazing friend, but she was dependable and caring. She always showed up on time and let you know if she couldn't. She was honest, but that also led to her being cruel. She meant well. I would truly like to believe that, but sometimes I don't.
Kate and I probably wont gain that friendship back, but I still pray and still love her from afar. Friendship isn't easy and I have to say I hate making new ones. My advice though, never let those who call you friend, make you feel any less superior and any less you. You should not have to configure your identity to fit their needs. You are you and should be loved no matter the money in your wallet or the nice things you own. You are probably asking what was the breaking point...
One night, Kate messaged me about my lack of communication with her. I have been swarmed and life has gotten crazy, but I did my best keeping up with everyone. She didn't feel I met her expectations as a friend and she was hurt. I tried to explain that I had been going through a hard time and I am almost out of it, but she didn't care for my well-being, just as long as she was heard. So I sent her a respectful, but forward message stating that I truly am sorry I haven't been there, but this is my life and I am trying my best.
No text should not have been the way, but it happened and I do wish her the best. That last message didn't sit well with Kate. Why? Let's say my friend group was used to me sitting quiet and going with the flow. Life is strange and unusual and it changes you, but I chose to move with it.