They move, they die, they get mad, changing allegiances take them from you. Worst of all, they break off their friendship without a word because something horrible is happening in your life, and this tells them that it’s time to clue you in on the fact that they were just there for the good times, and you were a sap for thinking they loved you. You probably were too because you probably ignored repeated warning signs.
People who form shallow friendships with a lot of people don’t seem to suffer much when friends go away, but people who invest themselves in only a few other people can suffer a lot. I’m in the latter group, and it has taught me to never assume that any given person will be in my life tomorrow.
When I felt that I had a lot to lose—as with someone I especially wanted to stay friends with—I was burdened by the desire to protect myself by pleasing them. I have, over the years, grown to expect much less from people, and this has made me increasingly content when I get much less and increasingly unwilling to bend myself into a pretzel for what I do get. Living this way makes it easier for me to: know what my feelings are; to be open about them to the extent that is prudent; to let other people’s feelings be what they are; and to be open to hearing whatever anyone chooses to tell me. I’ve learned that not only can I not control other people, it makes life harder for everyone when I try. Besides, I’m too old to lose my dignity to bullshit. I sometimes hear that life is a game, but I don’t see it that way because when something is all you’ve got, it’s not to be trifled with. In regard to wisdom:
“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” -from II Corinthians 6:2
Truly, none of us have a long future in which to get our lives in order.