Before I crack on with today’s update on Becky’s-crazy-life, I’d like to say that if anyone out there is wondering if they’re the only one’s social media stalking people from 2011 and from that summer where you went on loads of dates… you’re not.
(If no-one is doing this and I’m the only one someone please tell me so I can delete this post and cry in shame STAT)
In my opinion, looking back and checking up on where people are now (and whether they’re relevant to your life yet) is a pretty normal thing to do. I mean being surrounded by ex-lovers (lol) and acquaintances on social media is just like waving candy in front of a baby. The temptation is always there and sometimes you give into it.
Recently I’ve had one of those evenings. The one where I scrolled back two years in chat photos and giggled at all the stupid things I said to people and sighed at how slim and pretty I looked (that part’s not relevant to this post but I wanted to include it). I checked whether they were still together, what happened to so-and-so and if I’m still as hopelessly crushed on that near-stranger.
The silver lining of evenings like these used to resolve in me getting back in touch with someone, reaching out and reinitiating something – even if that something was just a chuckle about what happened that one time. These times sometimes even ended in me shutting down my computer and feeling even more happy and secure in my current position. Sure, any re-ignition has just been friendly and most of those lost acquaintances remain firmly in that acquaintance pile. The acquaintance pile that sits on the back burner and is always at your disposal. Until, you know, there’s kind of no one left in the pile.
Whilst I don’t consider myself an unfriendly or confrontational person, I readily hold my hands up to a couple of years of my life where I never left anything on a good (heck, even neutral) note.
Whether it was an old friend who was unreliable or a guy I’d been on 2 dates with, I could never leave the relationship open-ended. I would always lash out or turn it into ‘something’ just for my own closure and peace of mind.
At the time I couldn’t see much wrong with this. We’re never going to go out again so why not bombard them with 10 crazy messages asking why they didn’t like me? I don’t want to be friends with this person right now so why should I humour them with politeness?
Little did I know that I had this thing called a future. A future that at times may be a little lonely, a little reflective and even a little regretful.
Quite a poignant example of me burning a bridge was when I saw an old colleague in a nightclub (yeah there was a time I was a hip and happening lady…). We’d been joined at the hip for 8 hours a day once a week at a part-time job. Chats with this person were the reason I looked forward to working and at a time where I needed a friend, they happily gave me advice. They left (or got fired) from the job and naturally we lost touch.
When it was my turn to say goodbye to the part-time job, said old friend and ex-colleague decided not to have one last hurrah at my leaving drinks, which I’ll be honest, disappointed me a little.
It was only in a half drunk, half dancing moment a few months later (we’re in the nightclub now) when I felt that need for blunt and abrupt closure. When I ran into said ex-colleague in da club I didn’t smile or try to catch up, instead deciding to give them the old fashioned flipped bird. My embarrassment about that friendship meaning more to me and my feelings of rejection escaped. And that was that.
Would we be friends right now if I hadn’t had done that? Probably not. Would their acquaintance be on my back burner still? Probably.
Whilst I have several examples like that above (of me acting rashly and burning well-structured bridges) this is one of my favourites (if I can have a favourite destroyed relationship). Why? Because it never revolved around any hope on ‘what if’. It wasn’t a failed love interest that I’ll always be left wondering about, it was (for me at least) pure, giggling, friendship. Many of the other instances of me burning a bridge do involve putting myself in a place where the person on the other end thinks I’m a crazy bitch… and I mean, were they far off?
It’s hard to write a post like this without sounding sad about a particular friendship, but my point is that this destructive behaviour towards dozens of people builds up.
Sure, right now I’m not too lonely. I have friends that I chat to regularly and I’ve got too much on my plate to get bored. Even so, I wouldn’t mind having a few more options when it comes to rainy day (or when I need a favour).
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kick myself for burning so many bridges, but all I can do know is keep the bridges I’ve got intact and remember that 5-years-from-now-Becky may just want to keep in touch with people more than 21-year-old Becky does…
How do you feel about leaving friendships and relationships behind?
If you’ve gone through similar phases or have had your own experience of burning bridges then let me know in a comment below.
Don’t forget to connect with me on social media to stay up to date with the latest on BKY.
For now, let’s try to consider our future selves a little more,
P.S. Sorry for referring to myself in the third person.
P.S.S. Thinking about me being 26 is scary.