From Our Readers
February 21, 2014 6:00 am

I have a hard time of letting things go. Month-old grudges, the worn-out, faded jacket that I insist on wearing purely because I’ve had it for such a long time that I can’t see my future without it in it. I literally out-wear clothing. Food, not so much. In fact, just today a loaf of tiger bread that I bought last week had to be ‘let go’ because it had turned into rock overnight.

The other sort of attachments that I find difficult to let go of are: friends. You know the ones. The ones you imagined living with in a flat together and eating cold spaghetti bolognese while watching brain-numbing sitcoms. The ones you made plans with to be each other’s one and only. The ones you shared heartaches and deliriously delightful moments with, those close friends you never thought would change. Unfortunately, some changes erode friendships. Distance can strain. Time possesses the power to fade memories. And when love makes its debut, it stealthily woos your closest friend away bit by bit. Before you know it you’re having nights in on your own while a guy has replaced you for shoulder-company. Growing up has its perks but this encounter with adulthood caught me completely by surprise. Maybe that sounds crazy to you, naïve even, because the truth was I didn’t want things to change. I didn’t want to grow up if it meant being replaced by some sausage-fingered schmuck or moving countries and barely having time to email each other. I just wanted to go back to high school, where there was a routine, a safety net in case you had no idea what came next. I wanted our bus rides home, sitting side by side listening to the same CD (back in the day) and the assurance that tomorrow, it would happen all over again.

For a long while I couldn’t let go. I was on the other side of the globe and because I hadn’t quite let go of a past that would never repeat itself, I couldn’t make any other friends without comparing them to my close friends back in my hometown. I had tasted creme brulée and was not going to settle for a muffin. I had found the bra that fit in all the right places and was not about to settle for one that didn’t hold it all in. I’m stubborn so it’s no surprise that this tormented me day and night, until I decided that I had to let go in order to be happy. Letting go doesn’t mean never contacting them or abandoning ship, it just means loosening your grip, giving yourselves room to breathe and grow because otherwise you will just stifle one another. It means embracing the distance, the time lost and the lovers that have waltzed in and out. It means opening up little more to potential friends and biting your tongue when you’re tempted to compare them against your measurement, your sister, your star, your best friend.

So how should you endeavour to do this, let me just find the pizza box that has my notes scribbled on it:

Don’t Miss the Rainbow

I had to realize that to stop living in the past, I had to be in the present. Sounds zen, right? I needed to really look around me, to be more alert and aware of the vibrant beauty the world has to offer. Instead of looking internally at what I was lacking, I looked outward at the world and saw the rainbow after the thunderstorm or tuned in to the birds who have one hell of a nightlife at 2AM.

Don’t Miss the Bus

By this I mean, don’t miss opportunities that are all around you: volunteering, the pottery class, the gym, the pending messages from socials that you haven’t bothered to reply to. We only have this one life to live (unless you believe in reincarnation, then kudos to you) and we should make it worth living. I don’t mean you have to be some extraordinaire in engineering or an activist marching the streets. Making your life worth living is to take center stage and be you and love what you do. That’s what I believe anyway.

Letting go is only making bigger the huge heart you already possess. Yes, it pinches and hurts but once the dust settles, it will look better in the morning light.

I’m Riahta, a 21 year-old Sydney-sider living off the leftovers in my bank account in North Wales, UK studying at the University. If my bed were a man, I would marry him because sleeping is my top priority. I haven’t quite made the transition from hot chocolate to coffee, and don’t think I ever will. I write songs, I’m a straight talker with a decaying social life and relish Gelato.  You can find my songs here and my blog here. I journal my thoughts into random stuff on Tumblr, tumble with me?

Featured Image via Shutterstock.