Way too often, we think about things that we loved once; things that we left behind a long time ago because we couldn’t find a way to take them with us as we grew up. And it made me think about this one particular exchange that I saw in a K-Drama and you’ll see why I brought this up, all of a sudden. It goes something like this:
‘I had a book with me. A very old book. Since it’s a very good book, whenever I felt tired, happy or empty, I used to take it out and read it. I’d memorize the lines of the book because I read it so many times. But lately, that book feels a bit strange to me. All of a sudden. Even when I read the lines I had highlighted before; I don’t know why on earth I highlighted such lines. It’s definitely the book I read over and over again, countless times, but I keep on seeing new sentences that I haven’t seen before. I’ve now realized there were so many lines that I missed. It feels like I’m reading a new book.’
‘Could it be because you, the reader, might have had a change of heart? That’s how good books are. If you re-read a book you read when you were ten, it feels completely different because you have changed. The book you have hasn’t changed. I’m pretty sure it’s you who has changed. The heart of the reader has changed.’
There was a very different context to this dialogue, but I’ll apply it another way here. We grow up and we start looking at things very differently. Whether it’s because of a change of heart or because we’ve seen the other side of the coin, we open a window to the world that we didn’t know existed, before. There was probably a time in your life when you spent several days crying over a friend who left you for ‘cooler’ people, or over a broken relationship that didn’t work out for hurtful reasons, and there was probably the time that came after when you felt as though you could never let go of the hurt that came with it. But you eventually did, even though it left you with a bunch of scars that you haven’t quite managed to erase.
The point is that, someday, you’ll start to see things differently. It doesn’t make what happened to you okay. It doesn’t mean that everything you have been through then isn’t valid. It just means that you’re a very different person now and, given where you are in life, you are allowed to let go of things that no longer hold a place in your life. You’re allowed to clear the clutter that you’re keeping boxed up at the back of your mind. You letting go of what no longer makes you happy doesn’t mean that you don’t acknowledge whatever little good you had. But is that little bit of good tainted in sadness really worth it?
Change is inevitable and it’s going to happen to all of us. Growth is going to happen to all of us. These are things that we can’t really put off. They need to be embraced and we are allowed to let go of what doesn’t help us grow anymore. New journeys, new friendships, new relationships, new moments, new memories— all of it. Embrace them and let yourself find new sentences that you never knew existed. Let it happen.