Almost a year out from my high school graduation, I find myself living a completely different life than the one I was just three-hundred and sixty-five days ago.
I have lost many people whom I called friends for four years. Inside jokes, secrets, and countless memories are all lost in the past. Whether we intentionally do not talk anymore or we just simply lost touch — it does not matter. The fact of the matter remains the same regardless: they are not in my life anymore.
I have lost people whom I have called family for the past nineteen years of my life. These are the same people I've spent countless holidays, birthdays, and parties with. The same people who have watched me grow up, given me cards on my birthday signed with "love," and made memories with me that would not have been possible to make with anyone else.
I think if you were to travel back in time to exactly one year ago, I would not have believed you if you told me the above. I truly believed there were certain people who would always be in my life. I actually believed that these people would continue to care about me, talk to me, and want to be my friend.
With family, whoever believes they will just decide one day that they do not want you in their life anymore? Your family is the group of humans who are 'supposed' to stay in your life and love you regardless. While friends frequently leave, family are the ones that stay. However, the past year has proven my sentiments extremely wrong.
I suppose I have been lucky throughout my life. I have never experienced such a drastic change and worse falling out than the ones I have endured over the past year.
I was not prepared for how difficult it is to move on.
I like to believe that I have moved past the anger, moved past the sadness.
But how will I ever move past the memories?
Everywhere I look, I find pictures of people who are no longer in my life. These pictures take me back to a certain time, place, and feeling. I get the overwhelming thought of 'this is when things were okay,' or 'this is when things were simple.' And while some pictures can date back to some ten years ago, they are also as recent as ten months ago.
How is it possible for things to change so quickly?
While change is undoubtedly good, and moving on to bigger and better things is necessary and needed, why is it so goddamn hard to accept and move on?
I have learned in the most painful of ways that losing people is especially hard. They are the ones starring in a majority of our memories. They help us to learn more about ourselves. No matter how hard we try, we cannot just forget them and move on. They will always remain in our memories. While we may currently hate them, want nothing to do with them, or just have no reason to be in your life anymore, how do we just forget the times they made us happy? The times they made us laugh? The times that your friends felt like friends and your family felt like family?
These people were once a part of us, so losing them is like losing a part of yourself.
I just want to rid of every picture, every text, every happy memory, everything that reminds me of the people I have lost. I need to move on and it seems impossible when at times there seem to be reminders everywhere I turn that make me miss who I once called friends and family. I never even had to question the fact that they were my friend and family. They were constants in my life that I did not have to worry about leaving my side. In my mind, they would always be there, until one day they were not anymore, and I just had to accept that.
I'm left wondering why I was not enough, why they were willing to give up on me so easily, and if they feel this way too. I seem to long for the security I once had that was provided by having these people in my life, but I'm learning to find this security through other resources and be content with the people who have stayed in my life.
People who are meant to remain in your life will. These people are the ones who help contribute to produce a better version of you, the ones that won't let you down, won't betray you, and make you happy. These are the ones you won't have to make an increased effort to keep in your life. You will never have to question the motives of these people; the reciprocated care and love will come naturally. I am incredibly thankful for these people, and the new ones I am meeting and welcoming in. Chances are that the ones you lost were lost for a reason. If they came back, they probably would not contribute positivity and you may not even recognize them anymore.
So, maybe the people who are not in your life anymore were not meant to be there anyway. Perhaps they were bringing too much negativity to your life. Whatever the reason may be, do not feel bad for still missing people who have screwed you over. Do not feel bad for still hating the people who have screwed you over. We all cope with change in different ways.
The most important thing to remember is to not let your past define you, and do not blame yourself because it will eat you alive. Don't look back and keep looking ahead. Don't pay mind to the ones who wronged you, focus only on improving yourself and caring about the ones who care about you and want the best for you. Who is meant to come back will come back, who is meant to stay will stay, and not every issue will be resolved.
Either way, you will be fine. As scary as it may seem, embrace the idea of change with open arms.