As millennials, we’re often told not to invest deeply in others. All the “catch flights not feelings” and “only chase a check” Instagram captions have us purporting to others that personal relationships are the least of our concerns.
A few years ago, I developed a pretty intense trust complex. I didn’t want anyone in my life that I couldn’t trust completely. There was no room for Switzerlands. I needed someone to be on my side. In my mind, not making a choice was a choice. I let a lot of people walk out of my life because of that. As a result, I grew closer to the people I cared about most. Even though I let go of so much, the relationships I gained were richer and more fulfilling. I hoped that things would stay that way forever. But they didn’t.
The whole college to adult life shift put a strain on a lot of the relationships I had. I had new goals, new priorities, and a new routine on top of a move to a completely new city. It didn’t take long before I was working late, exhausted, and topped returning phone calls. Not beacause I didn’t want to talk to anyone in particular but because I was struggling to deal with a massive transition in my life.
Fast forward a few years, some of those relationships that I worked hard to nurture are unraveling at the seams. I didn’t know what to do to hold them together. But things change. And people change. It was time again for me to let go. This time, not for me, but for them. I’ve decided to let go and accept that our relationship is evolving. While I feel averse to this change, it’s happening.
For a while, I remained unsure of how to address the distance that I now felt between myself and those in my life. After some deep thought and returning a few phone calls, I decided to let someone else back into my life. At first, I was nervous. I had distanced myself from them for a reason. I was apprehensive about continuing a friendship where I would feel secondary and sometimes disappointed. I then realized that this time around, something was different. I was different. She was different. And thus, our relationship would be different.
I’m letting go of the idea that our current dynamic will last forever. It won’t. Instead, I’m letting in something new, something unexpected, and something that is really great right now.
The process of letting go of people pushed me to let in others. So when you find yourself clinging to the past because it was so good, ask yourself why you fear to let go of the marginally decent present. The future could be better than you can even fathom.