Dear Youth
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This, Too, Will Pass

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A 4am rambling on the moment I realised I was in love with the concept of change.

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What comes together will, inevitably, fall apart. It’s one of the very few constants of life, and in the right mindset, one of the most beautiful. Nothing was ever built to, or meant to, last indefinitely.

This is true for the friendship group that forms in the first week of summer, over a local gig and an 11pm dinner at maccas. You know – when several of you find yourselves together, friends of friends of friends, and it’s an instant click. Family within seconds, and plans that stretch months ahead. And three weeks later one of you hates another and the group chat’s silent and you’re still clinging to the days spent together that felt eternal.

It’s true for the boyfriend you had at 14, just when you were beginning to question if maybe, this could be love. It’s true for the shifting phases of your relationship with your mum, and it’s true for that month you can’t remember because everything went quiet and numb for a little while and it was hard to leave your room. Everything will, eventually, pass.

BUT, it’s okay to cling to things a little too hard, and miss people a little too much.

I’ve always been the type of person to develop close relationships quickly, and hold onto them tightly. In the last few years, my friends have barely changed. I don’t let go easily. I follow up and double text and grab people until they talk. I sort things out. I demand explanations and reasonings, and a year later, I’ll still be trying to understand what went wrong.

Drifting apart from someone is probably not your fault.  It’s not a bad habit of yours, it’s not something you said, it’s not a personality trait they got tired of. It’s not neccearily you.

People shift, grow, and change their minds. To claim you ‘knew’ someone, or complain that someone’s ‘changed’, is to demand they remain only as the person you once knew them as. But change is evolution, and for someone to shift and come into themselves is the most beautiful thing to watch, even if it distances them from your life.

My best friend when I was 14 is a stranger, a year and a bit later. We nod as we pass each other, the way you smile at someone you’ve always vaguely liked. The hardest thing to come to terms with is not, often, someone’s absence in your life. It’s their absolute and complete change into a different person who can never be in your life again.

Letting go isn’t as easy as everyone seems to say. It took me a while to figure that out. And, it’s acceptable to grieve for a death, a failed relationship, an ex-lover – but what about a friend? A place? A mindset? A phase? Grief, and the space and allowance to grieve, is essential. It’s difficult to let go if you haven’t given yourself the chance to grieve, and find closure.

(Letting go is not swearing to yourself you’re over it, and still checking snapmaps, or stalking their instagram. It’s not neccesarily blocking them entirely, either. Letting go is simply, finally, refreshingly, not particularly caring anymore. It might take months, but you’ll know when you’re there. It’s like a splash of cold water in the best way possible.)

The truth is, you need to let go in order to let new people and experiences into your life.

Sure, at the time, that’s the shittiest comfort ever. It’s hard to care about new things. You care about that person, or experience or phase, right now. You care about everything you’re losing, and perhaps despite the logical part of your brain reminding you sagely that ‘letting go is healthy, and will better your soul’, you probably kind of want to punch the fuck out of logic.

But, the idea that what comes together will, inevitably, fall apart, is actually one of the most beautiful constants in life.

The energies, experiences, lessons, mistakes, love and friendships that you experience are brought into your life as you need them. Energy is shifting and morphing all around us, and you may not believe in a god, or a higher being, but I find it difficult not to trust in the balance of the world. I don’t believe anyone or anything particularly cares about me or you – but I believe we are constantly drawing and attracting all sorts of energy and experiences towards us.

For you to grow, new energy & experiences must find its way into your life, and old energy & experiences must fall away. Everyone’s on their own journey, trying to figure their shit out. Sometimes, you’re going to play a huge part in someone’s life, and sometimes a smaller part, and sometimes you’ll have an impact without even realising. Everyone’s paths are constantly diverging and crossing over, looping back and veering off. You kind of just have to run with it.

Losing something you love – a person, a phase, a moment, a place – hurts like hell. I miss that best friend most of the time. Still. It took me a year (no exaggerations) to stop trying to fix things, to work things out. He was my first boyfriend, and after that, the first person to really understand me in ways no one has since. And he is absolutely not that person anymore, and so different that he never could be again.

BUT. I am grateful for having met him, for having known that sort of friendship and love, for that part of my life, and for those memories.

That friendship group, that forms haphazardly one night, in a 24hour maccas, or on a jetty or in a train carriage or skatepark – how beautiful to watch strangers become family, for love to flourish so quickly, and for it all to fall away so fast? When you’re a teen, life is flashing past. Every second feels tangible. Our brains are wired to crave immediacy and to want everything now. 

I don’t know, I just think it’s beautiful, to fall in and out of love with people so quickly. The sort of friendships and moments and phases we experience now are different to anything else we ever will. Love everyone & everything around you. Hold on tightly. Double text. Be honest. Try hard, and when things aren’t working, let go with a smile. I am grateful for everything I have felt, all the pain and heartbreak and utter happiness. I’m so ready to feel it all again and again and again.

Essential reading: Desiderata

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