F.R.I.E.N.D.S. are temporary
The most painful episode in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. series is 'The Last One: Part 2'. That's the last episode of the sitcom at the end of which the six friends leave their apartment keys on the kitchen counter and head down for a last cup of coffee together before they all part ways. After that Chandler and Monica shift to Westchester County, Joey moves to LA, Pheobe continues married life with Mike and Ross and Rachel embark on their reignited romantic journey (Sorry if I ruined the last episode for you).
You see what happened there? Even after eight long years of developing unbreakable bonds, the "friends" leave each other to begin the next chapter in their lives. Do they feel devastated? Duh. Are they going to miss each other? Again, duh. But are they going to regret their decisions? Probably not.
Why? That's pretty simple. It's because they want to move on, try new things like married life or a career in Hollywood, and gather new experiences. Obviously, this is an assumption given that we are talking about fictitious people.
What that last scene made me realise is that people, no matter how close, will embark on new journeys, often not involving you and while that may feel devastating, it's actually a great experience to endure .
This is mainly for two reasons:
They have either left you with some good memories or experiences that taught you something or just made you a stronger person. Something decent came of their presence in your life.
Their leaving has forced you to become more self reliant. A person's divergence from your life, forces you to, at least temporarily, fulfill the role they played, be it a challenging or motivating role.
I'm just seventeen and I haven't "lost" a ton of friends, but the prospect of losing them makes me apprehensive. What am I going to do without them? Who will I go out with? What if I want to make plans but I'm so alone that I have no one to plan with? I'll probably become a social outcast.
Come on, everyone has thought about this and it is scary at first. But as soon as you notice yourself worrying about something like this, you can be sure that you have some internal shit to work on (as do all of us), because people are indeed temporary and the only thing you can probably do about that is accept it.
Negative emotions are a call to action. When you feel them, you are supposed to do something. -Mark Manson, 'The Subtle Art of not giving a Fuck'
According to Mark Manson, negative emotions are an imperative attribute of our survival instincts. They help us identify impending danger. As a caveman, if you're anxious, you're probably worrying about something posing a threat to your life, but that's really not how negative emotions work anymore.
However, these emotions are still a clear warning that something about you is threatening your well-being. Worring about friends leaving and being alone is probably a sign that we need to work on relying on ourselves for good company and validation.
Honestly, I think it takes immense strength and courage to be a lonely person, and that loneliness seems more empowering than external validation ever could.
I hope one day, you and I also reach that level self reliance where parting ways with people feels more like an opportunity than a loss (if you're already there, congratulations). I also hope that the next time you watch the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. series, you notice the little life lessons it has to teach XD
Have a great day, or at least try.
Here's a tip: watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S!