"Just as we outgrow a pair of trousers, we outgrow acquaintances, libraries, principles, etc., at times before they're worn out and times - and this is the worst of all - before we have new ones." George C. Lichtenberg

Maybe it was because of all that I experienced but I don't have the same nostalgia that I see so many of my friends do for high school or college. I have never wanted to go back. I can pinpoint specific people that I still think about and that I care for but besides that there is no longing for me to return from whence I came. Even in the past year I've had multiple opportunities to visit my alma mater and I turned them down. I think I decided that I would never return there. Too much happened and I'm still processing it all three years later. What I mean to say is I have more than outgrown the place. I know for me there has been nothing more me to take from there. I took all that I could, learned from it, and went on my way. That's what I have always done. For me, a return there is a regression to be the person I was when I was there - someone I no longer recognize or desire to be. It drudges up old memories, many of them unbearably painful, isolating, and debilitating. I lose my newfound self-actualization and that is something too precious for me to ever forsake. With that understanding comes the realization that some of the people I was connected to also are meant to be left behind. Those who are unable to accept who I have become, how I've grown, and what I believe in. They serve as a trap, albeit a comfortable one, but one nonetheless that does not serve my life's purpose of proceeding towards goals, ambitions, and desires. I have to let them go lest I stay in stasis with them.

Every person needs something different in order for them to be their best selves. Some thrive in the safety of familiarity but for others - myself included - that limits them. I keep moving because up until now I have to feel settled not only in where I am but who I am. I imagine other people, for a multitude of reasons, have felt at peace, in control, or safe save for a few rare instances. What a privilege that must be. That's not my story though and pretending it is does me no good. I think there are ways in which people want to avoid the uncomfortable, the tough truth, or anything that isn't seen as good vibes or posivity. Those efforts to remove anything that is deemed to be less than uplifting creates delusions of grandeur. Sometimes, people really do need to be brought back down to Earth. Sometimes you have to speak your truth even when others don't want to hear it. Sometimes you have to be a reality check, and know that reality can be seriously different for different people. Life is an individual experience, so why then are we so quick to negate the experiences of others? Some ideologies we grow out of, and other stick with us for the long haul.

I realize more and more that I have outgrown friends. Not because of anything of us did that was wrong but because of the ways that we changed. We are no longer compatible. We don't see the same truth in the world. We don't fit together. But not being perfect is often a good thing - we grow and change when challenged, but in this case we've reached the end of our time together. It's already apparent in the ways that we've gone from talking daily to a lackluster check-in every few months, maybe an emoji reply to a snapchat, and probably a belated birthday shoutout. We live in different place. We lead different lives . We have different friends. Most of all we have different priorities, passions, and concerns. I only know my perspective and to me I just don't see us having any more in-depth conversations besides general life updates, frivolous social media posts, and things we binged watched. We don't even have anymore inside jokes. Our senses of humor have diverged as well. What makes us who we are makes us why we're not. We grew, but just in different directions. It's neither here nor there, but all I know is that we are no longer anywhere - and that is okay. There's no hard feelings. No blame to be placed. Just two people who we were once connected left only with memories to reminisce, random hit-ups to pop up, and a hair thin thread holding us together. 

There are parts of me that struggles to let go. What those parts don't realize is that sometimes in order to make room for new people in my life I have to let go of others. That doesn't mean I'll ever stop caring about them but they cannot be what occupies my thoughts most immediately anymore, especially when its apparent that the apathy is mutual. I never want to be one of those people who are always attached to friends far away, distant when you're with them, and disengaged otherwise. I want to be where I am and with whomever is there. I want my happiness to not be tethered to ambiguous relationships. I want my joy to come from within. I want my life to depend on me. It's only hard to see your old friends making new ones when you haven't done the same. True friends express gratitude for old friends as they were, wish them the best as they go, and admire them from afar - always ready to intervene at a moments notice if ever needed again. It's not a goodbye forever but it's a I'll see you when I see you. So to all those that fallen by the wayside and even more so to those whose list includes me,  I thank you for who've been to me, what you have meant, and what we built together. I release you and you in turn do the same. Until we meet again, old friend. Adieu. X


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