It’s my job to know all about the seasons as a florist, particularly, which fragile flowers are complimented or weakened by the different seasons.
Over time, I’ve become an expert at judging when my floral blooms have past their sell-by date, and chucking a bunch of once beautiful but now sad, tired anemones onto the compost heap has never seen me shed a tear.
But as my soon-to-be 30th birthday quickly rolls my way, I’m wondering why I’ve struggled to commit this wisdom to other aspects of my life.
My closest friends were a group of three fun-loving girls I first met at primary school. Growing up together saw our years of rehearsing dance routines in the school playground soon turn into lying to our parents, sneaking out of our houses and heading to the latest teenage party with a bottle of WKD concealed under our coats. It was us vs. the world, and life was good.
"It would be unfair to say there were never any signs of trouble bubbling beneath the soil. There were."
We dived into the world of ‘firsts’ side by side. First boyfriends, first breakups, first jobs, first houses; the adventures went on right into our late 20’s until eventually, roots became rotten and my world came crashing down.
A year and a half ago, my long-term friendship group staged a disappearing act. All three of them, after actual decades of closeness, decided to collectively uproot and run within days. I haven't heard a word since.
"For months, outsiders would comment quietly in my ear that the friendship I was clinging onto seemed one-sided, negative and unhealthy."
It would be unfair to say there were never any signs of trouble bubbling beneath the soil. There were. But it was the normal ebbs and flows of life that seemed to rock their boat; I found myself in a relationship, I struggled with anxiety, I chose not to go out drinking every weekend. These 'sticking points’ really did stick with my friends… and they made that very clear.
For months, outsiders would comment quietly in my ear that the friendship I was clinging onto seemed one-sided, negative and unhealthy. But, nevertheless, I wasn't strong enough to grow alone.
"Our adult lives bring huge changes and sometimes, our once nearest and dearest friendships refuse to sustain growth or bloom."
Eventually, when the decision to ‘unfriend’ happened without my knowing, I surprisingly felt a breath of fresh air. In some ways, I even felt free. Of course there was, and still is, a hole, but the hole isn't bottomless and its gradually filling with the possibility of a more positive, supportive and adaptable network of friends.
It’s taken time but I’ve slowly started to realise that it’s okay to take control and draw a close to negative friendships that have outgrown the planter they first started in. Our adult lives bring huge changes and sometimes, our once nearest and dearest friendships refuse to sustain growth or bloom. If this happens, my one piece of advice is as follows;
“When a flower doesn't bloom, fix the environment in which it grows.”
Laura is a florist and business owner.