It's hard to come to terms with the end of an era.
The act of growing old, growing up, changing.
What happens when one is stripped of that childlike innocence and instead filled with the overwhelming next step of adulthood.
The life cycle at its finest.
When you're young you think that things will always be as they are; maybe you'll just look at them differently without those rose-colored glasses that have blocked out the years of experience you've yet to obtain.
When you're young you think that the people you've always held dearest to you will be the same ones you hold dearest as you experience your first love...
your graduation day...
that fairy-tale proposal...
your wedding day...
that first major step into securing the future you want...
the birth of your first child...
anything that is a stepping stone to the next big moment of your life.
But it's all just wishful thinking
In reality, everyone changes, bear in mind to differing degrees. No one person can say that they are the same at age 25 that they were at 18 or that they were at 10. With the continuous play that is life is the constant of unknowing. You maintain some key morals and standards and the enveloping essence that is YOU, sure. You may even hold on to those things you swore you'd never do or say just to prove people wrong, but in the end... we all make mistakes, we all grow, we all learn, and we all CHANGE. It's not so much that I have a problem with the changing itself - I mean what's the point of all this if we don't develop, evolve, adapt?
No... what I have a problem with is the person who changes to hurt others, to be spiteful, to purposefully forget those who've been there through those tough changes. When you change so much that the person who you were at your core is nonexistent, no longer present. When the person who you grew into from toddler to kid - the person you are completely unadulterated, without the poison of society having affected the real you yet - when that person vanishes. Because that is voluntary. That is deliberate. That is cruel. Because the people around you are the ones who help mold you - help nurture you - help you change. Everyone in a different way and providing varying amounts, yes. But we put effort and time and love into the foundation with an expectation that you would always have a place in your heart for us. That you will always remember what we did to help you become the you that you are now.
When I'm forgotten, pushed away, neglected... it pisses me off. I feel like I was robbed, used up, cast aside after ringing every ounce of love and compassion I had in me and gave to you. It hurts more than words can say and it's the hardest thing to have to get over - realizing that I wasn't worth keeping in your life and being a constant presence like I once was. I think why?
Why did I waste my time?
Why didn't you keep me?
Why did you drain me?
Why do I still care now?
And the answer is simple. Because I love you. Because love is the strongest bond to break. And I can't not love you. It hurts the worst, especially when that love is meant to be unconditional. Whether it's a friend, a family member, or a lover... love isn't supposed to have limits.
As family, you have no choice but to love, even when you know in that moment that you hate that person. God created you to share your life with this person and you have no say. You're brought up to share in each other's memories and expect each other's presence. You take it for granted. You assume it's the same for them as it is for you. You'd die for that person, sacrifice anything you have for that person, love that person until the day you die. And you're taught you aren't supposed to expect anything in return because that's what family is. When that person doesn't have anything left to give, you accept it and you help them. When that person is dried up, you give them what you have and you don't expect to get it back. When that person treats you like the scum of the earth, you grit your teeth and bare it and hope for them to return from that darkness. And when it's your turn to be in that funk, you know they'll reciprocate.
Or at least that's how we're raised.
That's not always how it turns out.
And that's the change I'm talking about.
The one that is voluntary.
The one that is deliberate.
The one that is cruel.
The one that simply isn't fair.
And there comes a point, there has to come a point, where you've given everything you can, been drained dry as a summer desert, been treated like the worst kind of person and you realize you can't do this any longer. No amount of nurture, nature, teaching, or training can prepare you for the moment when you've hit your wits end. Because in theory, that moment should never come. It's meant to be a give AND take and those moments of give are always meant to be temporary. You're taught not to expect a return but you are taught to expect help when you are in need. So when you need and nothing is thrust in your direction, you're hit with emptiness and longing and anger and utter trepidation. And eventually there comes a point when you realize you're waiting for something that isn't going to happen.
And at that point is when you know that end of the era has finally arrived. That change has taken over that person who has been there for you in the past and stripped them of the essence you've come to know and love and expect. And your heart breaks because you know you still love them and you know they'll still be in your life always but now you can't like them anymore. You can't see past the hurt and pain and anguish they've caused you and everyone around you. No matter how many times you've tried opening their eyes to
the reality they've created, nothing you do helps and you feel utterly useless, like you've failed them somehow.
It's the end of an era.
And it's hard to accept.