There are a lot of great things about growing up, but a lot of things also suck pretty badly. You pay your own bills, you make tough choices, and your mom is no longer the one picking you up from a party; that’s all on you now.

I’ve found that one of the hardest things about growing up and living your own life (rather than the life a parent or teacher wants you to live) is that you sometimes have to move on from people. I remember a few weeks before my high school graduation, I promised myself that I would keep in touch with everyone. The thought of one day being old and sitting on my porch, disconnected from the people I grew up with, depressed me. Now, I find that thought laughable. The amount of people who have come into my life, played an important role, and then stepped out piles up year after year.

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It’s nice talking to teenagers who stand by their friendships, promising that these are impossibly close bonds that will never break apart, because I know now that people just drift — sometimes unintentionally, sometimes very intentionally. People tell you that your twenties are a time to figure things out. You may already have things figured out — which is great if you do, and please teach me your ways. Usually, though, you experience things during this time that adjust what you really want in life and who you want those moments to be shared with.

People get new jobs, people get new friends, people move, and people just simply change. I look back on my life and my friends — the ones I still have and the ones I no longer do — and I recognize that even the really not-so-great people in my life played an important role in getting me where I am today. So thank you to my high school bully and all the ones who followed because now I know how to deal with mean girls: I just ignore them and move on with my day.

Whether it’s a friendship breakup or a romantic breakup, moving on sucks. It is just that simple. Sometimes losing touch with people isn’t even a process; it just happens. Losing the friends who were good ones — the real friends, the friends you really wish you had kept in touch with or had kept in touch with you — is the hardest part. Life is a long crazy road, though, and sometimes people get left behind. It is tragic in its own simple way.

People moving on is okay, and it is just a part of life. Sometimes, when people decide to let you go, they do it cruelly. But, it is important to not give in to cruelty and to realize that every moment, as insignificant as it may seem, is important and, in its own way, life-changing. Believe it or not, in some shape or form, you leave an impression on every person that comes into your life.

Never mourn the friendships you have lost, but rather embrace the fact that you had them. As C.S. Lewis once said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”



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