Miraculously, over the past year, several of these friends have come out of the woodwork and contacted me. I won't lie--I was elated to hear from them, as I really did miss the friendship we once had. However, it takes more than a brief message on Facebook or an email to bring someone back into my life. I don't make them beg and plead for my friendship, but I don't let things pick up right where they left off either.
One of these friends, a former best friend from college, initiated contact shortly before Avery was born and sent me a box of gorgeous baby clothes for her. It's been great communicating with her again, and she was very apologetic about her lack of communication over the years. She blamed it on depression, bad relationships and a slew of other things. I didn't care about the why, but I was glad that she reached out to me after over 5 years of radio silence.
Another friend contacted me because she is considering moving back to Florida, not far from where I live. We talked about her job search, what has happened in her life over the past 6 years, and how she's planning to start over. She was a good friend at a time when I really needed one, so it's great to know she still thinks of me in wonderful ways.
A third friend, who I assumed was long gone, send me a handwritten letter several months ago. She explained how her life had changed in the past year and she knew she had been a horrible friend to me. She acknowledged knowing about my baby and apologized for not being present when I had such a huge moment in my life.
What I learned from these situations was that people stopped being great friends with me when their own insecurities took over and their lives, frankly, fell to hell in their own handbaskets. It had nothing to do with me. In fact, they all thought enough of me to reach back out to reestablish our friendship after they started to get their shit together and move forward in life.
As a sensitive person, I'm so glad it wasn't about me! I never knew if it was or not, but knowing for a fact that it was due to their own personal failures, unhappiness, disappointments, etc. validated my conjecture that people stop communicating sometimes when they feel like they can't contribute anything positive to a relationship. They feel like it's better to go silent than to unload and admit their problems and shortcomings to a good friend. It's not my style, personally, but I get it.
Nonetheless, this past year has been a year of amazing things. My own life has changed a lot, but my relationships have seen change too. Things are definitely not what they were a year and a half ago, but sometimes that's a good thing.
Just remember that while some friendships may go quietly into the night or enter and exit your life like a hurricane, there is often the possibility of the Circle-Back. Don't count anyone out just yet.