One of the many things that my Dad drilled into my head from a very young age is that we cannot outrun change; it’s inevitable and it’s going to catch up to you, no matter how much you try to outrun it. We moved around a lot back then and the thought of starting over every now and then really got to me. It’s not like I had a social media account or anything, back then, which would have allowed me to stay in touch with my friends. My biggest fear was that I was going to drift away and lose all the friendships that I had made along the way. I wasn’t exactly wrong about that, but those who really mattered have stuck around anyway and I think there are several lessons learned there.
See, I was told that I couldn’t always hold on to the people that I cared about because everyone had their own lives to live, at the end of the day, and that they had to do it themselves, even if it meant that I couldn’t be a part of that journey anymore. That particular thought really hurt me, as a 13 year old, but as a 23 year old I know much better. I now know that it is, in fact, true that we can be mere chapters or books, or maybe entire volumes, in a person’s library of a life, but we can’t ever be the entire library itself because there is more to life than wanting to go through every rite of passage together.
Sure, it sucks to know that we won’t be going through our rites of passage at the same time, but we can choose to be happy for the people in our lives as they experience something new and wonderful, themselves. Change happens to all of us but it seldom happens to us at the same time. It takes time to learn, unlearn, relearn and change things about ourselves and accept the changes that we can do nothing about. It’s never the easiest lesson to learn, but things are a lot better when we accept that we cannot change certain things about the way life happens, and it happens to us all.
I guess the only little bit of comfort that I draw from this lesson is that although we all go through our rites of passage at very different stages in life, we are still left with a lot of wonderful people around us. It is unrealistic to expect that they’ll be a part of every single chapter in your life because loving someone also means letting them go gracefully, even if it means that we’ll need to learn to re-adjust. The best thing about change is that it is already happening to you, and I know it seems like the scariest thing ever, but change is good and it needs to be embraced. Of course, this isn’t something that you can just do in a day; it takes time to learn how to cope with changes. The only thing you need to do is to allow yourself the time to come to terms with it.