Some people are afraid of getting older but what I’m really afraid of is a certain kind of change that comes with the passing of time. You can be the closest of friends with someone, which feels so secure that you think it will always last, but time passes and things change. Either the people themselves change or the situation around them changes and what once meant so much no longer is. Happy memories are captured in pictures but when you look at them now they represent a loss, a yearning for what once was and still could have been. The path between you and the other person no longer align.
I believe I’m afraid of changes that come with the passing of time because connections with other people are really important to me. I always felt so alone and disconnected from my family that I didn’t feel like there was much stability or anyone I could count on. Finding a connection and unconditional love through my friends, therefore, means a lot. So when a connection like that ends and becomes unstable it’s like getting stabbed in an old wound. The scars from our upbringing are deep.
I’m afraid of letting go and being let go of but I’ve learned and grown a lot over the years. People change and that’s a wonderful thing and holding onto something because of what it was but no longer is, isn’t healthy nor does it enrich anyone’s life. I no longer look at old pictures and feel like they represent a loss. I’m able to cherish the memories while enjoying the here and now but it took me a long while to ‘let go’ or find myself again after Lois.
Lois shaped me into someone she wanted me to be and gave me a lot of stability through our dynamic. I knew she would be there for me and that we’d made some sort of commitment to each other. I could trust that she wouldn’t reject me because of my mental health issues and that it was safe to share them with her. On another level, I knew what she meant when she said she wanted me to dress sexy; I knew what kind of clothes she liked for me to wear in daily life; I knew that she always wanted to see me wear stilettos in my pictures. Knowing these things made it easy and offered stability because I was sure of things. I didn’t have to worry about what was right or wrong because she’d very clearly established it for me.
Once that ended it was really strange. It was difficult ‘to be released’ because my mindset was so oriented around pleasing her. As I wrote in a previous post, I saw her in my clothes, toys, the way I walked down the street; Part of her felt entwined with my identity. Now that time has passed my identity has become fully mine again. In a way, lockdown seems to have reset part of my identity too and I feel like I have to figure it out again. It’s scary but in a way, it’s also exciting. The worry that comes from thinking about what dress I should wear turns from initial anxiety into excitement; There’s so much new to explore and I realise that the dynamic with Lois wasn’t perfect and I miss it no more.
When I think about missed connections a few people come to mind. For all of them, our relationship (friendship or romantic) seemed so perfect; I thought they’d remain forever in my life. When looking back, the idea of them remained seemingly perfect but somewhere along the way I realised that the fact it no longer is means it never was; It is right that some relationships simply were.
I wrote this post because since after I saw Roxy on the weekend, I’ve felt like I can start exploring me. I’m not sure if I managed to convey that and don’t think I can quite capture the feeling as of yet but it’s liberating, I suppose. I feel happy today.