A little while ago, I let go of some people that had played a big role in my life. It wasn’t that they did something to hurt me. It was just that, over time, I started to realize they were adding more negativity than joy to my life. While this was definitely the right thing to do, letting go of people who you have been around for a long time is taxing. Over time you learn to identify yourself by the people you hang out with. You start wondering whether you were a bitch for no longer investing time and effort into someone who didn’t purposely hurt you and who’s been with you for so long. You never thought you would do something like that. After days, weeks, months even, you still wonder whether you did the right thing.
It’s only after months that I’m slowly coming back into my own. I’ve felt bad for a long time, even though I knew I did the right thing all along. Maybe I changed. Maybe the problem was that I changed and they didn’t. Or maybe I’ve always been like this but I was afraid really being who I am, before. Who knows. As the years go by we all develop who we are and grow. I now realize that sometimes when friendships end, it doesn’t mean that all the years together become meaningless. It just means that when people grow, they can grow apart.
Staying strong in who you are takes personal work and time. These last couple of months, however, I’ve learned there’s something else that helps. I’ve gotten closer with people that were just acquaintances before, and people that were completely new. But they all, probably without being aware of it, are helping me to find my way back to me. Through conversations we have I’m learning that it’s okay to just be me. They show me that everyone can express their individuality and creativity differently, yet we can still inspire and help each other on our ways.
I tend to lose my way at times, but my friends help me stay grounded. They help me remember what it is to be true to yourself and to trust in who you are. We’re all so different, but so similar, too. Even though I still haven’t reached the top – I know I never will – the mountain will always keep rising, I am learning to trust the process. The process of finding my way back to me.