I have a tendency to dwell on the past. I know that I'm not alone in this, but I find that I sometimes let my fears of the past repeating itself get the best of me. For example, when I was younger, I had a small group of friends that I thought I knew so well. We liked watching the same shows, eating the same food, sharing our inside jokes, and painting the town red in our spare time. We all especially liked listening to Evanescence, which, by "Gilmore Girls" standards, is grounds for being mocked. I always look back and remember the times we shared so fondly, but it is the inevitable goodbyes that worry me.
One day, we didn't watch the same shows, haunt the same places, or even paint the town with the same palette anymore. We all grew up/grew apart from each other. I don't know how the others took our separation; I haven't spoken with them in quite some time. I know, however, that growing distant from my friends had a negative effect on me. I've been running from committed relationships my entire adult life, be they friendly or romantic.
Recently, I've been trying to assuage my fears by being open and talking to new acquaintances about my past. Before, I would bottle my feelings up, which I think purposely created a barrier between myself and anyone getting to know me. I've received a lot of support in my endeavors, but nothing had quite the profound effect that attending an Evanescence concert did.
On Wednesday, November 16th, I visited Greenville, SC, to attend an Evanescence concert: a childhood dream of mine. My friends and I used to want nothing more than to meet the band, and I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity. The strangest thing was that, even though I was reminded of my friends and our past together, it somehow felt cathartic to achieve something that we always wanted--almost as if the shackles of the past were lifted off of me.
The most important lesson I learned by living out my childhood dream is this: my friends helped shape who I am today, but I am still capable of making happy memories without them. This should be common sense, but it becomes so easy to look at things myopically when you forget this. I, too, do not watch the same shows, eat the same food, or even listen to Evanescence very often at all. I can appreciate my past, but I can no longer stand still for fear. I am sure that it will take time, but I hope to allow myself to get closer with new people and create new memories without fear of losing the people in my life.