Growing does not come without its pains. As we get older we forget the lessons we have learned from our adolescence apply in our adulthood. For many of us life changes are normal and frequent, oftentimes more frequent than we would like but with life changes comes associated challenges and uncomfortabilities. We are cornered into making hard decisions, uncomfortable choices, and finding strength or even courage when we don’t believe we have it. When a lot of these changes happen in a short period of time, they resemble growing pains much like when your body or bones would ache during a growth spurt.
This year has had an eventful turn of events that would close out the decade in a way that was the most inevitable. In the early years of the decade, the summer of 2012, I had a conversation with one of my close friends which would be the foreshadowing to the end of my decade. She told me that I would outgrow my friends but most importantly it would be my greatest struggle. At the time I heard her and even thought I was listening, honestly, I may have been but I didn’t understand the magnitude of her premonition. Let me paint a clear picture, at this time in my life I was making some of the poorest choices and not because I didn’t know any better. You know, we’ve all been there and if you are young you will truly experience this point in your life, where you just… do all the wrong things and think you can avoid consequences or even out think everything and everyone. I was just out here doing all of the stupid shit!! There was no way I saw what was in store even after it was shown to me. Yet, here I am.
Here I am, at the close of 2019 better than I ever was at the start of this decade but that’s not what this is about. Despite knowing I would have to experience this, it still wasn’t an easy task. These growing pains are often mixed with a bit of anxiety, depression, a teench of self loathing and a splash insecurity. Talk about a party! Outgrowing friendships is one of the hardest break ups I’ve endured.
Unlike a romantic relationship, outgrowing a platonic relationship happens in a different way. In a relationship it’s much easier to see what you don’t like, what does not work for you or even what you do enjoy. In friendships, I never took the time to define what I wanted a healthy friendship to look like and that is something I learned to do in therapy. Prior to this I was beginning to feel the shift my friend mentioned was on the horizon. As my homework assignment I was to make a list of what I wanted in a friend. When I was working on this list it started to become evident that many of my friendships no longer met my wants and needs. I figured out that my environment started to feel complacent. Like a hamster on a wheel, I was moving but not going anywhere. I spent my time hanging out, yet not growing as an individual and not growing as a group.
Someone once said if you are the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room. It wasn’t that I was the smartest but I was growing and the environment and people in it weren’t. As much as I love everyone, I had just outgrown this space. There was a time a couple years ago I mentioned an idea to my group of friends, most of them brushed me off or even laughed. A few months ago a friend who was there sent me an article of some ladies doing my idea and said, “You said we should do this years ago.” Although I had not seen it then, I was outgrowing this space.
This does not mean everyone was not growing or changing. It just means we are growing at different paces and we are in different places in our journeys.
To the friends I had to leave behind, I love you and will always love you but if you love me you will know I needed a bigger space to meet and even exceed my full potential. That my environment had to change but it does not change the love I have for you regardless of what we may have gone through. I hate how things ended but this was inevitable, I just wish it was more amicable.
Listening to Drake “0 to 100” on Spotify