Opinion

It’s okay to let people go from the past

People make me laugh. Or, sometimes, they make me cry. And a couple of people have made me feel this deep, unexplainable sense of belonging. I think that’s called love.

There’s been a lot of people over the last twenty years who have made me feel like somebody—somebody good or bad, but somebody, at least.

Do you remember your first friend—the very first person you can think of whom you decided to keep? If you were like me, your parents could do nothing to keep you out of trouble. You played together, you ate snacks together and you sat in timeout in opposite corners of the room together. Your friendship was a bond unlike anything you had ever experienced.

You probably don’t talk to your first friend anymore. You might not even remember their name. They’ve become, once again, complete strangers. It seems like our lives are a perpetual cycle of recycling friends and people.

But maybe that’s okay.

The crazy games you played with your best friends, the secrets that you still haven’t told anyone, and that feeling that you’re going to be friends forever: these things play in the back of your mind when you miss how things used to be. No one else can understand those memories but those people changed your life.

I keep those memories as if on a bookshelf, ready at any moment to be remembered. My memories represent who my friends were when I needed them the most. It’s funny how people in our lives, sometimes total strangers, step in at the right time in the right place as if something more than a coincidence is going on. I’ve had friends who have helped me grow when I felt like there was no way to grow. I’ve had friends who have helped me love when I felt like I couldn’t. Some friends have helped me find myself when I didn’t know who I was.

This is because we live our lives in seasons. In winter we need warm gloves, a fuzzy hat and a mug full of cocoa and marshmallows. Summer isn’t summer without shades and a tall glass of sweet tea. It would be crazy to sit by the pool while wearing gloves and a fuzzy hat. Just as is the case with the seasons of the year, we need what is right for the seasons of our lives.

It’s okay to let people go. Sometimes we only need them for a short time. The thought of winter can be hard when we’re soaking up the summer sun, but then we remember how we marvel at the snow as it falls from the sky. People change, we change, the seasons change; our worlds seem to shift the moment we begin to feel comfortable, but that does not mean things are falling apart. People may come and go, but their impact on our lives and the memories they have given us will remain.

Quinn Holman – Contributor