3 Truths of People Leaving

Monday, February 2, 2015

A 12-year-old girl gnawed at her lip to prevent any tears from escaping as she watched her uncle's Land Rover disappear around the end of the street. He was gone. 

That is a memory I still struggle with, despite everything I know today. When you form a relationship with another human being, there is a sense of entitlement you feel over them. You expect them to take you into consideration when planning their future, but sometimes, they forget to factor you in.

My uncle was homosexual man who thrived in the city trying to find happiness in Michigan. Gay marriage has yet to be legalized in the state and our biggest city is laden with crime. He did not belong in Michigan, he never had. So he did what any sensible human being would do: move. He headed off to Chicago and has not looked back since.  

Today, he is engaged to a wonderful man and they run a flower business in the windy city. I have never seen my uncle happier.

Throughout the process though, I learned quite a bit. First off, I learned that it wasn't all about me. Next, I learned that if our bond was strong enough, distance would not be a problem. Thirdly, I discovered that sometimes you have to have no one to finally know what it means to have your own back.

1. It will test the strength of the relationship.

I have friends whom I talk to everyday, and friends who I haven't talked to in weeks. One of my closest friends does not even live in the same country as me! Distance undoubtedly tests a relationship though. It deprives you of comfortable silences and daily hugs. 

The time apart forces you to put forth more effort to stay connected. Thankfully, technology makes distance a bit easier to handle. Between texting and Skype calls, it is easy to stay updated on one another's lives. 

2. It isn't you, it's them.

It isn't easy to accept that someone you love might have a purpose beyond you. Whether your boyfriend is going on a two-year mission trip or your sister is moving across the country, it is hard. Everyone has a life of their own to live. 

At some point in your life, you will leave someone unintentionally. This will not be because you do not love that person, but because you love your own dreams and passions enough to pursue them. 

3. You don't need anyone else. 

Have you ever had your "best" friends leave you? I did in my sophomore year of high school. I had a group of best friends and I never considered the possibility of us breaking up. I guess we didn't break up, they just cut me out. 

That sob story ends there, because it is actually one of the most wonderful things to ever happen to me. I learned that I cannot count on anyone besides myself. I am the only person I need to be happy, everyone else is just an asset. 

I not only gained confidence during this time, but I learned how to turn acquaintances into actual friends. This lead to one of the coolest lunch tables ever with the most mismatched group of girls. It was a big group of girls without a leader or a defining title... that is quite a refreshing thing in a high school. 

You unintentionally will depend on others throughout life, and you will grow so comfortable with this that you will fail to depend on yourself. At some point, these people will probably leave you. This is a scary thought, and an ever scarier reality... but let me tell you a secret... 

come in closer...

you don't need them.

The only person you need is yourself, and you will always be around. Take yourself to a movie, take yourself out to dinner... you don't need your friends or that guy because you have you

People will leave, and new people will come. This is an inevitable part of life that you must embrace at some point. People come into your life to teach you something, they do not come for you to keep. Love them while they are there, and wish them the best as they go. When that new person knocks on your door, welcome them with open arms. They too are here to teach you a lesson.

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