When the time came for me to let go of long time friends

Source: Radiate Daily

I experienced something as enlightening as painful a few weeks back. I realized relationships are not always for forever. People change, people grow, people need more.

I changed, I grew, and now I need more.

Letting go of relationships is hard, especially long time relationships. I had to let go of long time friendships. I did not want to, but I had to if I wanted to go on with my journey to “personal success”.

If you read me from the beginning here on Self-Ish, you know I worked a lot on myself as a person. I did everything I could to go from a depressed little girl to a hard working woman, from complaining to looking for solutions and applying them, from a brat to… a moderate brat.

It takes a lot of trial and errors to go from point A to point B. Life experience is gained by learning through mistakes. It is also gathered through discipline and hard work. But unfortunately, as I said here, experience cannot be shared. Impossible.

I will not go into details because some of them are not only about me, and you know I have boundaries when it comes to sharing elements about people other than myself.

The funny thing is I talked about relationships and growing as a better person here on Self-Ish. I explained everything I am about to write, but knowing what I knew from experience did not prevent me to make the mistakes I am about to reveal. It shows that one is always exposed to making mistakes! Always!

So, to cut it short, as I said in the post So… I am back, I went back to my country a few weeks ago, my first trip there since I started working on myself as a person. I was so happy to see everybody, people I missed so much, but what I experienced was like a huge slap on my face.

I changed. A lot. I can’t feel it when living here because I did everything possible to surround myself with people I admire and learn from. The only thing I feel when around them is how much I need to work harder and learn more to reach self-fulfillment as I define it.

Some of my long time friends do not like the “new me”. They wanted my “old self” back, the girl partying all night every night, the girl who enjoyed knowing who was dating who and who was cheating on who with who, the girl who did not care about tomorrow, other people and politics, the depressed girl who never said no to hours of “group complaining” sessions.

At first they thought I was faking, to the point that I asked myself if I was not too hard on myself, if it was not somehow useful and good to gossip “a little bit”, complain “a little bit”, say fuck it to civic participation “a little bit” to be able to be around them and enjoy the company as I did back in the days.

I won’t lie, I tried. I tried just to remain around them. I crashed all the work I did for two years and a half or so to be around my long time friends. Goodbye Befoune, welcome back to everything you worked hard to get rid of.

I gossiped. I complained. I partied. And I fell sick. As simple as that.

I hated myself. I hated them for taking me back to that life. While being consumed with hatred, I realized the problem was not them taking me back to anything. It was me accepting to go back to the old-self to be around a few people, jeopardizing my mental sanity, my jobs (I had other things to do than working at that time), my relationship with amazing people (who wants to be around someone prying in other people’s lives and complaining every 6 minutes?).

So I decided to let go. For me, but also for them.

For me because I am above all this today to the point that going back made me physically sick. I don’t need that, I don’t need validation from people not bringing positivity in my life. Life is made of episodes, and people usually don’t like replays. I hate them, so why should I go through them in real life?

For them because I am not the person they enjoyed being with anymore. I do not feel superior to them, because I am not. All I am is different. Different and happy, different and proud of myself for the first time in my life. I am useless to them today because we cannot hangout anymore. If I cannot be myself around people, If I have to be different than who I want to be, I should not be around them. Period.

So I let them go for all of us to be happy and fulfilled in our many activities.

It literally broke my heart. It felt exactly like a break-up with a man. It was hard and it was difficult for me to get back to my feet, but I had to do it. I have not worked that hard, initiated everything I did to crush it all for a few nights out. Nope boo !

Going through this reinforced the belief I shared in the text Being Self-Ish:

Choosing myself is necessary for me to grow as a person. Choosing myself is what I need to reach my goals.Choosing themselves is what the people around me should do if they have to, even if it means letting me down the drain. They should choose themselves for the greater good just as I am going to choose myself for my greater good.

As I said at the beginning of this text, the experience was as painful as enlightening. The process of getting rid of the old-self (for the second time in my life) to get back to the new-self made me realize so many things about me clinging to some things because they were meaningful in the past, though they are not anymore.

But that will be for another post.

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Hello, my name is Befoune, and I talk about citizen participation and empowerment in my country, Cameroon, on the platform Elle Citoyenne. My dear friend Tchassa Kamga and I created the publication Self-Ish to document our lives as humans and share our experience in self improvement, content creation and what we call human relationships.