I used to think, as a little girl, that you make friends and those friends will stay with you forever.
The prospect of growing with someone, sharing experiences and then at some point not having them by your side to witness each other’s lives had been SO hard to grasp.
It didn’t help that one of my good friends had to leave town and, of course, I never saw her again. We all have those stories.
But as I grew older and now I started changing schools and making new friends, I was actually still determined to keep in touch with everyone who mattered to me. And I moved schools a lot, which meant juggling best friends from each place I went to, trying to stay on top of evening phone-calls, sending holiday-cards and organising play-dates. (I was a very organised, very yearning-to-be-an-adult-already 9,10,11yo. ;))
I kept my conviction that I could juggle it all and keep going, staying best friends will all my best friends from different eras, while moving forward with life and into new schools, making new connections all the time. Until…
Why am I bringing this up now?
Because living like this is overwhelming.
Getting this idea stuck in our heads that “I can manage it all” (adding new things/people/habits into our lives without actually making space for them) is universal.
But every now and then comes the time to take stock of where we are and to make some conscious decisions about what we want and where we want to go. And it does not happen by carrying on with everything we’re doing right now. It starts from stripping the things/people/habits away that no longer fit into your direction.
And yes, I realise how it sounds. It does sound brutal to say that about leaving people too. Things? You can get rid of. Habits? (If you figure out your triggers…) You can change. But people?! Your people you stick to, no matter what …riiiiight?
Just like for a child changing schools leads to making some new friends and growing apart from other older friends, deciding on a conscious direction in which you’d like to go in your life is going to result in losing some people. You break up your routine. You start fresh with some new habits. You introduce new ways of thinking into your life. And not all your old friends are going to be comfortable with that.
But I’m hoping you see already that… sometimes leaving people behind as we grow is essential.
It’s scary to think of uprooting your life and changing direction and deciding to go after your dreams (even if, or especially if no one around you is doing the thing you want to be doing). It’s scary to fear in that moment that you might end up going at it alone, like you’re the only person in the world experiencing this transition, not knowing what’s on the other side. So it’s easy to try to stick around to your old ways, try to stay best friends with all your best friends from different eras.
But you just need to remember that first comes a decision to change schools. And then, only then, once you start walking that new path, THAT’s when you’ll make new friends. Don’t let the old ways keep you stuck because you’re worried you’re going to be walking the road alone. That new territory is full of wonderful people, who – just like you – CHOSE to be there. They too are following their big dream. Which is why they’ll understand yours.
The reward is reaching your dreams and your soul’s burning desires. Your life’s mission, accomplished. Now, isn’t that worth being the new kid?
I’ve gone through this recently, with old friends falling away as my life and my direction changes. Not everyone can handle change in others so these old friendships end. Onwards and upwards with those who fit in the new life in that case! Great post x
Thank you, Sophie. And yes, not everyone is ok with change. But onwards and upwards :)
I have just put an end to a 12 year relationship. We were married. My husband had a career in the army. He was due to get out after serving for 26years but has chosen a commission for another 10 years instead of having a wife & a life.
I have tolerated that time. 7 house moves in that time with four children. I am tired of it all.
Emotionallly I feel quite calm. I am just scared about the financial implications of it. That’s all.
Thank you for sharing, Marie. My thoughts are with you and even though it might not seem like that at times, I know that you’ll be ok. “Emotionally I feel quite calm.” <- THAT is the biggest tell. You're following your heart. It's brave. It's necessary. All my love! Kat xx
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