When we’re young, we are expected to that way. We’re fun and carefree, we make irresponsible decisions, and if you were anything like me, make a ton of ridiculous fashion choices you wish Facebook would stop reminding you of. But as the years go by, we outgrow this phase and we mature into adulthood as expected. We no longer engage in activities we once did, the things that interest us change overtime, and oftentimes we outgrow people we once thought would be in our lives forever. The truth is, that is perfectly okay. This transformative experience is called growth, and it’s something we all should actively be seeking in our everyday lives. As harsh as it may sound, as you mature into the person you were meant to be, everyone from your past does not need a spot in your future, and that is nothing to feel guilty about.
I’m sure you’ve heard the famous saying, “people come into your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime.” As cliche as it may sound, it’s still 100 percent accurate. Throughout life you’ll encounter many people along your journey; some you’ll love, and others you’d rather never see again. Some people will end up becoming your lifelong friends and others will foster toxic relationships that you’ll ultimately need to let go of. But that’s life. You meet people, befriend them and eventually realize every person you come across in life isn’t supposed to stay a part of it forever. You’ll have some friends who will become distant memories, others who will teach you valuable life lessons and a selected few who will continue with you throughout life. It’s up to you to decipher who’s who and make the necessary changes for your own well-being. When it’s all said and done, not keeping people in your life past their expiration date will be a smart decision made for the sake of your health and happiness.
We grow physically, we grow emotionally, we grow mentally, and hopefully professionally (and in turn, financially) if we do this whole “life” thing correctly. Understanding this concept from a young age has allowed me to view my friendships in the same light and has forced me to evaluate every relationship around me. What I’ve realized, as singer Lauryn Hill once put it, is that “Anything that is not growing is dead.” If the friendship is not focused on growth and evolving as we each tackle new stages in life, then what’s the point of holding on? If the friendship is stuck in the past, it should stay there. The fact of the matter is that we aren’t going to be the same person we were at five or 15 or 25, and we shouldn’t want to be. That’s why having friends who can mentally mature with you is crucial. Not every friend we have will be able to grow with us and while it may be sad to part ways with them because of it, we owe it to ourselves to want more.
Outgrowing people is natural and normal. It’s a process most of us undergo as we go through the crazy stages of this thing called life. Much like your daily food consumption, the people you choose to keep in your life can greatly affect you, so you have to choose wisely when it comes to who you share your time and energy with. Staying around stagnant, negative people can be taxing on your own growth, and a friendship, no matter how long you’ve had it, is never worth compromising the progression of self.