In the past few weeks, I’ve been called all sorts of horrible things via email, private message and publicly by women who I once considered to be my close friends.

They are women who I let into our Hike Like A Woman ambassador team and some into my leadership circle.

They are women who I’ve shared meals with.

Women who I’ve shared laughs with.

Women who I’ve shared late nights and bottles of wine with.

Women who I’ve shared summits and early morning sunrises with.

Women who I’ve shared campfires with and close quarters in backpacking tents.

Women who I’ve let into my home. My life. My heart.

You’d think that at 40 years old I’d stop caring about what other people think about me, or how I choose to run Hike Like A Woman.

But the truth is I’ll always care.

I’ll always mourn friendships lost.

I’ll always mourn relationships shattered.

I’ll always wonder why people come and go, and why some people go quietly and others go loudly making sure that everyone knows that they think you’re a lousy piece of sh*t.

As I’ve been dealing with feelings that I haven’t had since high school when all the cool kids called me “Buck-Tooth Becky” I’ve come to realize one thing.

People come and go and it’s good to let them go, it’s healthy for relationships to move on when they are no longer bringing joy.

It doesn’t make it easier, moving on is hard to do.

I’m not angry or upset anymore.

Instead, I’m flooding my mind with all of those amazing memories of women who were brought into my life to teach me about myself, about leadership and about how to forgive and let go.

Those were epic sunrises, sunsets, bottles of wine, campfires, rafting trips, smiles, laughter, and friendships.

Those are the memories that I’ll always treasure and hold dear, not what was said or written as friendships faded.

I’ve been quiet the past month or so.

Adjusting to a lot of newnesses, anticipating changes, stressing out about HLAW and Basecamp and wondering if I’m doing it all “right” and — I guess if I’m going to be honest, I’ve been hiding from the world trying to learn from this experience so that I can be the kind of friend that the people in my life who I love deserve.

Here’s to new beginnings and wonderful memories of past adventures.

Have you had friends come and go? What have you learned from the experience?

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”
– Ally Condie






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10 comments on “The Complexities of Friendship

  1. As we grow older we don’t stop caring but from our past experiences and all the hard times we have been through we learn that if something is not good for your mental peace or health, it’s better to let go. I’m glad to see you doing well. We all have our own coping mechanisms and I’m happy you found yours!

  2. Rebecca-
    You are really a truly amazing lady. You are very right about people who come and go. It really can change us. I really would like to encourage you to keep trucking right on. You know what is best for HLAW and our ambassador group. We can grow closer to those who ride the waves together. I think it seasons us like a cast iron skillet. I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you and work with you.

  3. Love you, Rebecca. You do life incredibly well and with passion and heart wide open – that is often why it hurts so much. I often dwell on many of the same things. Keep plugging on and keeping your head up. You’re doing it so right!!!

  4. Rebecca,

    Those who are but heads were not your “real” friends anyway. Male or female. Let go. Do not react. “They” don’t get it anyway.

    Find your tribe. Consider this: there are many really damaged individuals on this planet. Many whiners, drawn to solitary activities and small towns—take up cycling, running, trekking. You cannot change their narrative. Have seen many; wonder, briefly any more, why they are hateful- so I go places alone, finding like-minded individuals along the way-or not—- dealing with damaged people exhausting anyway.

    YOU are NOT them…. You are not experiencing anger a much as grief…ok you are hurt and pissed- feel rejected. You see them as”normal” with your same thinking—not. Ok, it’s normal to be pissed–its ok..just try to not let it define you. It’s ok. Really. It’s a big relief to see others struggle with this–I thought it was only me! Ha Hah!
    Keep on. It’s not you! honest!! Find solace in reading, hiking, doing good deeds. Good for you and good FOR you!!


  5. Thank you for your site and blog. I’ve had friends come and go as I suppose we all do. Most recently a hike on the West highland way in Scotland with a known friend of 15 years and her twin sister. I made 40 of the 96 miles. They made about 50. I fell and got a concussion leading to hospitalization. After that, they were the most cruel and even evil 50 something’s toward me. I was amazed that people our age could be so senseless. Bottom line, I could care less what they said to me, that the left me in a hospital in rural Scotland for two days as they went on. I know that their behavior is their issue. I have no time, room, or interest for people like that in my life. I wish you well. Oh, I recently received my Hike Like A Woman cap and love it! Thank you.

  6. I lost my best friend this past year because her husband got a ticket for hunting turkey over corn and he blamed my husband, who is a state police officer with conservation responsibilities. Long story, but she just stopped talking to me. I reached out a couple of times, but she shut me down coldly every time. I’m heartbroken, but like you, know I have to push beyond this. Going into 2020, I hope to find peace with this. Still looking for me word for 2020, but it will be in sync with this objective.

    I think it’s actually harder as we get older, because we realize how short life is and we build stronger friendships at this stage. We love harder and deeper! We cling to people tighter the older we get.

    Sending you love and light!

  7. Phew…I felt this one! As I hide too…I am protecting myself and maybe my old friendship too. Thank you for speaking my language today.

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