Mentorship August 9, 2017
"That's just the way it is... things will never be the same."
As we get older, we begin to outgrow the person we once were.
The things that we once found interesting might not hold that same fascination anymore. Likewise, for the people that we once considered friends. People that we once considered family just don’t hold that connection anymore.
When I began to notice this, I felt so guilty. It felt like the people I thought knew me best, my best friends, were carrying on with their lives together. Yet, I felt like a complete outsider. A few years later I realized this was happening because they had outgrown me. And although I felt like my world was ending, there was actually nothing wrong with the people that I had known forever moving on.
From fourth grade up until my freshmen year of high school I saw the same people almost every day. I attended a small school that had only one class for each grade. Meaning the people you started school with in Kindergarten were going to be your classmates up until eighth grade.
When high school came, I only stayed with those people for a year before transferring. My life went from literally being around these people every day to only seeing them about once a year. And when I did see these people, I felt like an outsider.
The pieces of our old selves that kept us linked together were no longer there. And it seemed that there was no room for them as adults.
My thoughts were a mix of “What can I do to be liked?” and “How are they all moving on without me?”
It wasn’t until a few years later, lots of tears and lots of maturing that I realized no one is going to stay the same forever.
How you are at this exact moment is not the same person you will be in five years. AND THAT IS OKAY! Humans are meant to evolve and grow. It’s like when an ex-boyfriend tells you, “You’ve changed.” Well, no duh, of course you have.
You’re allowed to outgrow people without having to feel badly or guilty about it.
In addition, I was too busy being upset about my situation to realize that I had also outgrown them. This wasn’t a one-sided situation. I just didn’t know how to handle it.
A good friend once said that people are either in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Not everyone that you meet in your life is going to stay in it forever. And yes, that type of mentality sucks because if you’re anything like me you hope that the people that have always been in your life, will stay there.
But then the realist in me says that as we grow up, we outgrow ourselves and others around us. We come to see what we want for our future selves, what our goals are and most importantly, we figure out who we are.
At first, I felt stuck. All the important friendships from most of my life were suddenly gone. Later, I noticed though that I felt much happier. Suddenly, I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I wasn’t to be liked. I could be myself.
When I accepted this, it was as if everything aligned for me. People with the same interests as me came into my life. The past wasn’t the only thing we had in common. Once again I was hopeful for future friendships. New friendships felt like a breath of fresh air.
The fact of the matter is that you are going to outgrow people and vice versa. And there is no reason to feel guilty. Many things can lead to outgrowing someone, for example:
In addition, while we’re here, I’d like to say that not all people outgrow their friends. That’s also okay. Some people will grow up together and be able to tackle all of the obstacles life throws their way. Friendships that were made at a young age can stay strong for the rest of those people’s lives.
However, for most people, that’s not the case. There is no reason why guilt should be associated with this process. Don’t let anyone hold you back from reaching your full potential. It doesn’t matter if those people have been in your life forever.
People will come and go. And at the end of the day, you need to put yourself first. It takes a lot of strength to accept this process. But, if anything, the pay off is incredible. When I let go of the people that were holding me back, I found happiness.
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