What do I make of this supposed bitter end, when it actually feels like a mighty relief?
And this weird numbness that’s quickly replaced the old regret, when I think about how quickly I’ve forgotten and moved on. What do I make of that?
What do I do with those random, totally unnecessary associations that remind me of how nothing will never be the same?
And the events that remind me of what a fool I have been?
How do I stop this unstoppable feeling of wanting to go back in time and give myself a resounding slap for falling for it again?
Where do old friendships go when they change? Do we stack them like old clothes in a closet? Or do we reduce them to ashes, to a grayness that must never be remembered again?
For all these years I thought it’s easier said than done. Moping over unpleasantness was the way to go when it came to matters of friendship. And I’ve moped, sulked and driven myself batty over this particular one. Until it actually happened recently. And I realised that when its time, it is easy to switch off and move on. But it only happened when something snapped inside and I saw that it was for a reason. All along I had been beating myself over it. And now, suddenly all I felt was immense relief. Like finally getting out an altogether uncomfortable clingy pair of jeans in the oppressive heat. And letting the breeze comfort you again.
You know what the weirdest part of it all was? There was that anger I told you about. When the penny had finally dropped and I saw that it was in fact my fault. I that had chosen to stick with those uncomfortable jeans. It was a classic case of masochist meets denial. I believed that it felt right even when it felt so wrong.
Here’s the truth: I can’t control the way people behave with me. Sure what they do can make me angry, sad, hurt, upset, happy, all of that. But the root of it all is in my hands. What I can control is the kind of relationships I want to keep. The way I want to be. And how I’m willing to be treated. And if I had given it all up and chosen the discomfort, that was nobody’s fault but mine.
Kind of like forcing myself into an old pair of jeans that no longer fit. I’m fatter, I’m wider, I’m far too grown up to squish into the confines of old denim. Yet I cling on to some old nostalgia and believe that I can still pull it off. I tell myself the old style still goes. The faded look suits me. The flared bottoms will make a comeback. Until that one day when something snapped, and I realised it was probably the fabric that was stretched to the seams holding this giant mess within.
Suddenly it became apparent that I’ve been fooling myself. Some friendships are a lot like wearing a favourite pair of jeans. No matter how old and faded and worn out they get, I don’t want to part with them because they’re really comfortable. They remind me of a security and happiness I once had. Until one day they give way and I see that I don’t even care about style anymore. The person I am inside those jeans isn’t who I really am anymore. And that really was like the last straw on the camels back.
Old jeans must make way for new ones. Gone are the days of enduring jeans that cling to my bum. All I want these days is loose linen. It breathes easy. It’s light. It lets you be. And that’s when I happily discard that weird pair of jeans that I now realise will never be my style again.