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O'Hara: Childhood friendships don't change, we do

April 4, 2018

There comes a moment in all our lives when our childhood friends start to fade into the past.

 

It’s an incredibly sad thing, knowing that you are no longer the same person you were for all those years and no longer compatible with your former friends. But we must not look at the past.

 

No, we may not have the same likes and dislikes we used to; we may not have even a sliver of who we were before. But as those friendships that we once used to define ourselves inevitably fade away, we’re faced with the question we’ve been avoiding ever since those friendships began: am I truly happy?

 

I believe that friendships should not be a necessity to happiness, but rather an accessory. Everyone must discover who they are at one point, and friends should encourage the growth and exploration that life supplies, not cage it in.

 

As we get older, we feel those strains that tug on our hearts, the ones that want us to break away from the pack and explore what life could mean as our true self.

 

In a way, these long-established childhood friendships keep us from changing. Many people are afraid of change, and friends are afraid to lose the person who sat by them at lunch in fifth grade or the person who they shared their first sleepover with.

 

But here’s the thing — those friendships are never gone. They will stay with us forever because the past does not change.

 

We cannot go back to change who we invited to our eighth birthday party or the friend who knew all of our high school crushes. Those were — hopefully — the people that made us truly happy at that time.

 

Those friendships were legitimate, and the happiness we derived from them will always be a part of our history.

 

We may be different people now, but who we once were will never change.

 

It’s time to start the exploration of our true selves and encourage one another.

 

It’s time for us to let go of people who hold us back and bring us nothing but pain and sorrow.

 

It’s time for us to move on and to finally be happy.

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