I don't deal very well with change. Which is not the most effective way to be because well, as the cliche goes, change is the most constant thing in the world.
We are changing every minute, every second; both physically and mentally, constantly.
The thing about change and friendships is that while people become friends for multiple reasons, those reasons can change over time. While once people connected over mutual shared interests, maybe they grow to become friends who need each other for support during difficult times. While sometimes adversity can build a friendship, when things get back to normal, that relationship might just not work anymore. There are work friends who you never meet outside work and friends with whom you never discuss work.
The thing is, usually when people are friends, they get to grow and change together. Sometimes even affecting the changes in each other (and nope, I'm not talking about girls' periods syncing up). Friends figure out life together, or try to at least. They are with each other through changing ideologies and new discoveries, heartbreaks and recoveries. When the changes happen the process feels gradual, organic. You get to adapt and even if those changes don't sit well with you, you grow into them with time.
Then there's the long-distance friendships (LDFs). Friendships where talking happens once in six months and meetings, once in a year. Friendships which devolve into acquaintanceships. Friends who disappear because out of sight is out of mind.
And while you're dealing with the challenges inherent in maintaining LDFs, you don't have the advantage of adapting to change. In that half-yearly conversation six months' of change and growth is thrown at you. In that yearly meeting, you have three hours to adapt to a different person from the one you knew a year ago.
What if you don't even like the new person anymore? You haven't had that gradual acceptance and what if you, at the stage you are at, do not feel like you are friends at all? What then? You speak to each other and your mind cannot process and you feel like maybe the new people you have turned into cannot be friends. You sit across from someone you grew up with and suddenly you realize that the people you are, aren't compatible.
How do you deal with the fact that you don't even like the person you once loved?
Is it shock? A reaction to too much information in too little time? Something that will go away with that magic word - time?
Or is it the death knell of a friendship?
How do you cope?