I somehow stumbled across an article about “bullet journalling”, and anyone who knows me knows my obsession with/hoarding of journals. So instantly I was intrigued. I discovered so many AMAZING layouts and designs by people across the globe in their own versions of bujo’s. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it’s basically a journal typically done on dotted paper, used as a compilation of diary, to do list, daily log and doodles. But the beauty of it is you can do whatever your little heart desires with it and you won’t be doing it wrong. I was super inspired by all the gorgeous calligraphy and doodling I saw on so many talented pages, and then quickly lost interest because I don’t have the time or energy to consistently make my pages awe worthy. So I use mine in a super simplistic form, and so far I’ve actually written in it every day. The point I’m slowly getting to is that when I took out my bullet journal this evening to check off some of my “habit tracker”, I saw that I STILL hadn’t blogged. And I keep harping on about how I want to be more consistent with my writing, so I decided to sit down and try to finish one of the 2 unpublished blogs I have from December.
As I was going through it, (it’s only a measly 880 words, and I usually write 2500+ because I simply can’t shut up) I couldn’t really pick back up on the thread I’d begun. I realized there was no feature photo yet, so I decided to go through my FaceBook and see if I could find any pictures I’d taken that seemed suited to the post while I waited for inspiration to strike. As I was trolling through my uploads, I was reminded of so many good times and good people, as well as so many hard times and people I haven’t seen in ages and most likely won’t see again. I’m now in a super nostalgic mind frame and much more motivated to pour out my mental clutter on the topic of the past. The seasons of life as it were.
It’s so crazy to think about how much changes in the run of a year, let alone two or three. I have very few close friends these days, and some I’ve known for 15 years and others for less than 2. Time doesn’t measure the quality of your relationships, I know we’ve all seen the meme and most likely it’s struck home with just about everyone who reads it. Just because you’ve known someone for all your life, doesn’t mean you’ve grown into adults who still harbour the same characteristics and attributes that can provide a meaningful friendship. Or a sustainable one. It’s not a bad thing by any means, we all grow up and grow apart from people we once thought we’d sit with in wheelchairs reminiscing on “the good old days”. People change quickly, people change slowly, but I promise they’re ever changing. If you’re lucky you can change and still be in a position to share a true friendship/relationship with those you want to have in your lives til the end. But you’re also lucky if you both wind up changing and your interests and hobbies don’t compliment your relationship any longer. You’re lucky because you learn something from every person you encounter. And just because that person may not spend a long period of time in your world, they still contributed to some fibre of your growth. You have good memories to cherish for a lifetime, and maybe you have hard lessons they forced you to learn. Regardless of which category it falls into, we need every experience to continue to push our growth and help us recognize who we are as we get older.
If you’ve ever lost a good amount of weight, you know you’re the last person to see it. Everyone else around you notices it before you do, and even more so with people who don’t see you often. They have more of a comparison to go on because they don’t see you daily to mark the progress. It’s like that with our personal growth as well. We don’t get to see ourselves blossoming into outgoing, determined, feisty creatures who can be a force to be reckoned with when we are in our zone. We don’t get to see our hard shells soften up and crack when we’ve met that special someone whose very being is a balm to our scarred, scabby hearts. We don’t get to witness firsthand the beauty of our evolution. But the people around us do. And through them we’re able to catch glimpses of how the world sees us, of the growth we’ve made over a period of time, of the characteristics we possess that make someone else’s day a little brighter. On the flip side, we also don’t get to see our destructive qualities, how our impulses and urges are self destructive or destructive to others, how hurtful we are when we’ve broken someone else without realizing it. We need the people around us to show us the good in us, as well as the bad. My little wave of memories from friends come and gone made me realize that I hold not one single grudge to anyone in my past.
I’ve had so many amazing people in my life in every kind of relationship. I’ve lost family members to death. Some of those losses I’m still recovering from and doubtfully will ever fully be okay with. But I still have lots of family members who I either talk to daily, like Mama and Quinn. Or every few weeks or months, like my grandparents and aunts and uncles, cousins. I have friends who I’ve lost over the years from death, from me being a shitty person, and from them being shitty people. And some I’ve lost just because we’ve grown up and grown apart. Or moved, or changed schools and just lost contact. Boyfriends as a general rule I’ve lost because they were bad news bears. I am in my longest proper relationship as of right now, and I haven’t been cheated on or abused so he’s already ahead of every other guy I’ve dated. I probably could have been a better girlfriend to some of the dudes who did cheat, but the past is the past and decisions are made that are irrevocable. I’ll never condone cheating so even if I was a mega cunt, have the decency to break up with me instead of sleeping with my friend. Insert eye roll. I still have a lot of love and respect for a few of my exes, and wish them nothing but the best. I have a few who I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire haha – not holding grudges, just don’t like em as human beings. And I’m sure the same goes for them. People make mistakes, and usually learn from them. From every failed relationship either with friends or boyfriends, I’ve learned more of my shitty qualities and things I can work on to be a better person for the people to come. I’ve also learned my limits, the things I’m okay to compromise on, and the things that I just can’t deal with and won’t ever be able to. And I’ve learned some of my strengths and high points. Because every person who gets to see you as you are, introduces you to yourself over and over. Each person’s view is completely unique and so you get different opinions with each interaction. Even hearing things from strangers can be so liberating and informative.
When I looked back on some pictures from events and trips, and even just run of the mill daily hang outs, I feel nothing but love. It’s taken a long time and maybe the distance (literally 6600 km in some instances) helps with my standpoint, but I am actually grateful for every person who I was lucky to have in my life at some point. If they hurt me, it taught me lessons I’ll treasure til I’m old and grey. If I hurt them, I’m reminded not to repeat past mistakes when it’s in my control. If they loved me the best way they knew how, I’ll be reminded that not everyone’s love looks the same, but damn does it always feel good to have. And if I loved them the best way I knew how, I hope that they can still feel it even though it’s disappeared to a dull ray. If we had nothing but good times and just faded out of each other’s lives, I learned that nothing lasts forever and sometimes you just grow apart for no reason other than your season has passed. Even for the ones who broke my heart unashamedly and held no remorse, I hope that somewhere down their line they learn to give to someone else what they couldn’t give to me. And to anyone whose heart I’ve broken, I’ve learned to love someone else the ways I could never love before. Everyone has good qualities, and something extraordinarily beautiful about them. I know that every person I’ve shared a piece of my life with is showing someone else their beauty, and no doubt teaching them lessons as well. I’m hoping they’re good lessons, but we all need the hard ones in life too.
I’ve got a few good friends these days, and I think I’m extra appreciative of their qualities and the love and support and guidance they grant me because of every other friendship I’ve had. From the inseparable friendships to the casual coffee dates, I can look at the friends I’ve got now and know that they’re irreplaceable. Drake was wrong when he said “no new friends”, you can’t possibly spend life with all the same exact people and never grow apart from any of them. And you need new friends because as your hobbies change, or your goals, you need to have people around you to support you and challenge you and to love you through it all. If those friendships fade out sooner than you expect, it’s okay because they taught you things about yourself you’d never see from looking in the mirror. And you’ll have taught them things too. It’s okay to walk away from situations you don’t agree with, or respect, or even just don’t have any interest in. There is no rule that says you have to stay exactly where you are, as you are, with whom is there. You’re allowed to hang on to people as long as you can, and you’re allowed to let them go too. And it’s okay for people to let you go, it’s not always a bad thing or due to something you’ve done. You can’t always change the way things pan out, and there isn’t always just one more thing you should/would/could have done to make it work. As for the times that it is a direct correlation to something you did, chalk it up to a tough lesson learned and don’t make the same mistakes again unless you want the same outcome. Life is messy and sporadic and impossible to predict. Treasure everyone you have while you have them, and if that’s a lifetime make the most of it. If that’s a year or two, make the most of it.
Life is far shorter than we think, and it will take until we’re old to see just how short it is or how quickly time passes by. I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t meant to have every person I wanted to keep forever, and not everyone who wanted to keep me forever was meant to either. People drift and don’t necessarily find their way back to where they started, and no one can say where they’re headed. But there are a few who I do expect to hold close until my days are over, no guarantee it will happen. I’m hopeful they’ll continue to teach me about who I am, and I can keep teaching them who they are, and we can keep making memories and loving each other from this lifetime into the next. And I can keep stumbling upon pictures and memorabilia from the relationships long gone and have moments of clarity and closure, and send them all good vibes and wish them well silently from afar.