Grow Tall, Sugarcane

Sunday, April 19, 2015 / 4:58 PM

Dear Old Friends,

I feel like I'm constantly writing letters in my head to re-introduce myself to you all. You see, the person I was five, 10, 15 years ago is so different from who I am right now, and I have this need to let it be known because I think these changes are for the better. I've grown up. I'm still growing up.

I think there are a lot of things that can cause a person to change: fear, adversity, love, death. And simply living--that, too, is enough to transform a person. At least it should, right? There are times I'll say I wish I could have a do-over, and that I miss certain moments from the past and wish I could recreate them in the present. But what made those moments so gorgeous was the fact that they were fleeting. Moments like that can never really be infinite, can they? I wouldn't want them to be--how else would I have come to appreciate them for what they were?

"Life beats you up. You can either crawl up into a ball
and die, or you can stand up and say, 'We're different,
and you can't break us.'"
There's a phrase for it: recapturing the "glory days." Those days you thought you were living in your best moments. Or perhaps, with rose-colored glasses, you look back and think that those days were perfect. The way you saw yourself back then is how you wish you could see yourself now, and that's why, perhaps, we meet people past graduation who still introduce themselves the way they wish they could still be known: the quarterback. The student body president. The newspaper editor-in-chief. We cling to those identities like safety blankets. It's easier than admitting we're not quite sure who we are or what we're doing some days.

I find myself still doing that from time to time: tying myself to a part of the past because it's familiar and comfortable and it means not having to try out something new. And sometimes, we hold onto the toxic moments that we use to create excuses for why moving forward is too hard. But moving forward and letting things change is a way of committing to growing up and I've been realizing lately that that's what I want: a commitment to move forward.

What I love about our friendships, Old Friends, is that we all are a part of each others' pasts, and yet we have all committed to growing up in ways that terrify us, yet thrill us too. We stumble, we alternate between casual strolling to full-on sprinting, and sometimes we fall over exhausted because our daily lives consume us. We're changing every day, but we're on this journey together. And maybe a week or two will pass us by without an email or a text message exchange, but I know you're still out there, making the same commitment to grow up and move forward in life. That gives me hope that the best is really yet to come.


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