FAILURE: an essay Originally written for Femsplain

Failure. Honestly, most of the stories on this subject I would expect to read are almost always about school, jobs, etc. What about as a person? As a friend? That is where I find I have failed at. 
All throughout school, I had a wide variety of friends. I always considered myself to be the nice, quiet girl who made sure she hid well in the background and blended in nicely with the wallpaper. I also have had many ex-friends during school. I only cut ties with those who had wronged me badly, and then acted like it never happened. I never expected an apology, but I learned the hard way never to trust those who would burn the bridge first. 
College was no different.
I made what I had thought were long-lasting friendships. Then those friends got married and had kids or moved back home with their parents in California. I remember asking my dad why my now-married friends abandoned me. He told me that once you’re no longer single, it’s like all your single friends are party-goers and now you can only socialize with your own kind, meaning married friends. 
I was truly flabbergasted. 
Yes, at the time, I was 100% single, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I party all the time. Although, I will admit, in my early 20s, after of course, being of legal age to drink, I did spend most every weekend while I worked third shift out at the local tavern with my drinking buddies. 
I guess I could see their point. 
Today, I am 27, and a mere 15 days away from becoming Mrs. Weigner. 
My maid of honor is my sister, Rochelle, who I may not be very close to, but she is my only living sibling. My lone bridesmaid is my fiancé’s sister-in-law. I did ask my one-true bestie who is in the Navy to stand with me, however she has her own sister’s wedding to be at. 
Coincidentally, all my other girl friends have vastly disappeared over the last four years. My best friend since kindergarten ghosted me shorty after my soon-to-be husband and I started dating exclusively. She simply just stopped answering my texts, calls, then I got a little pissed off when, after she cancelled on me, saying she had to stay in, her facebook kept posting picture after picture of her and her cosplay friends down at the pub. 
My only concern was, why did she feel she had to lie to me? And why was she being distant about it? After years of being given the runaround, I just quit. 
I’ve lost friends over them getting married, having kids, inviting me to go on a roadtrip with them then waiting until they drop me off back at home before asking for money. I’ve had friends lie to me about why they were my friend.


Now, I ask myself night after night, am I the one who was being the bad friend? Should I have apologized even when I felt I was doing the right thing? 
I have suffered panic attacks at work, at home , in the car all because I feel I am no longer capable of having a close girl friend. How can I be capable of failing at that? I don’t lie to my friends unless I feel it’s not the right time. Also, I feel like I have failed as a big sister.
I wasn’t lying when I said we weren’t close, even though she is my maid of honor. We haven’t been close since we were kids. We had an older brother, Jerome. He was 7 years older than I, 13 years older than Rochelle. He died back in 2008 from cancer. 
We have both coped in our own ways. 
We, however, did not lean on each other like we should have. 
I was not a very nice sister. 
He was not a very nice brother, either.
He would yell and berate me. 
I thought it was his way of telling me he loved me. 
So, I did the same things to Rochelle. 
I regret that just as much as he did.
I wish we were closer, like I said, I could use a friend. 
I also was never good at making friends, they just kinda starting talking to me and apparently did not find me annoying to start out with. 
I do have one friend who is coming to my wedding. 
But, you could say we weren’t exactly friends back in high school. 
Today, I am glad we are.
After writing this, I am still confused as to if I have truly failed. 
But, the gut feeling in my stomach still tells me I have.

Amanda Hansen

Amanda B Hansen is a writer & poet who currently resides in Omaha, NE. 
She is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She holds a Bachelor's in General Studies. Her certifications include English, Music, & Creative Writing. 

Amanda currently splits her time being a full-time Customer Service Adviser at her local Walgreen's, and being an Editor/Social Media/Writing Contributor for Fine Lines Journal in Omaha.