Letting People Go

For those of you who have started a new phase in their life- like your first year of university- then you may have already found out something important; it is completely different. You have to learn how to transition from one phase to another and come out of it as a better person. You are expected to grow and learn and try new things and find yourself.  Maybe that’s easier said than done. I, personally, have had two major transitions in my life, and both involve moving from different stages of the school system. Only last year, I was moving into university for the first time and I was so ready. Unfortunately, high school was just not my place to shine. I thought things were okay, but looking back now, I have realized why I am a better person than I was in high school. 

Don’t get me wrong, high school had its merits, but the worst part about it for me was getting wrapped up in the changing values. Or in my particular case, NOT getting wrapped in it. I watched my friends contradict their words with their actions, and make silly decisions because they were not of sound mind. I got caught up in the burdens of others, and it affected me in a way I never realized until recently. The truth was, I cared about my friends more than they cared about themselves. I made myself literally sick over the thought of their well-being while they were out having their fun. It was exhausting because I felt like I was always the one to help, and I never got anything in return. I wore myself out, and it started to affect my grades, and the few good friendships I had.

For some reason at the end of high school, something clicked. An incident happened with a friend that I thought I was close with, and I realized that all source of drama in my life revolved around her. I examined the relationships around me and realized how many of them weren’t relationships at all. It was just me worrying about people who didn’t want to be worried about. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t address concerns with friends. These particular “friends” just didn’t happen to be friends at all. At the end of high school, I was feeling a little lonely, but that summer, I made the decision to change things around. I knew that I was about to start University, and I would meet so many people that have the same values as me. I also knew that since I was going to a school in the same city I live in, that many people from high school would be at my school. With those in mind, I made the decisions to let everyone from the past go. I would not go out of my way to say hi to them, but I wouldn’t be rude if they talked to me. That decision was the most important decision I have made regarding my personal life.

One year later, I am happier than I have ever been. The people I am friends with now are the best friends I could ever ask for. On page 74 of Glamour magazine’s December 2013 issue, Lake Bell says “Having a history is not always enough. The first lesson I’ve learned with age is that all I need is a small team of comrades who inspire me, not to judge me, and remind me when I’m judging myself.” The truth to this statement is powerful. All I had to do was let go of the toxic people in my life to become a happier version of myself. I have only two friends from high school. One I met on orientation day before school had started. And the other I met during a particularly sweaty audition for Happy Days, the school musical. I am so thankful and blessed to have these two in my life right now. We have the history of a strong relationship, so I know they were meant to remain in my life for a very long time.

So what did I learn from all of this? Number one: let people go. It is in your best interest to let go of the relationships that are hindering you from living a full life. I’m watching a friend go through this stage right now, and it is not easy, but she knows that in the end, the drama was stop, and she will be happier for it. Number two: sometimes, you have to let your friends dig their own hole and only help them when they realize they forgot the ladder to get back up. It certainly is important to help your friends, but if they won’t accept your help, then back off. Stick around, and wait for them to realize you’re right. It may happen, it may not. All I know is that worrying about it when they won’t is troubling and it could lead you down a bad emotional path. Number three: surrounding yourself with the best people you can find makes you happy. And I am proof of that!

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