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Inevitable growth

by Mackenzie Rae Vanacore
Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a fear of growing up. You know, like getting old and having to do grown-up things, and get a JOB. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like doing those things... I was just scared of letting go of certain parts of my life. Growing up meant having to leave my youthful moments behind. So, in hopes of keeping those parts of my life close, I collected items that reminded me of moments. They were stupid things, like a torn piece of paper from a magazine article that might have been given to me by my grandmother.

I knew I was a sentimental person but it took me a while to realize I have a hard time letting go. Over time, I stopped collecting meaningless things. I thought that I was getting better at it once I entered adulthood but what I didn’t realize was I started collecting other things.

Instead of magazine scraps, I collected people. I held onto the people I was growing apart from, hoping that keeping them close meant keeping all the good memories we shared together. What I didn’t realize was that letting go of people who were once a big part of your life doesn't mean you are letting go of the good things that came when they were part of your life. You can still value what they gave you and grow away from them.
Letting go is part of growth, and there are so many stages. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re growing so we try to hold onto things or people who are not part of the next stage. I tried to hold on to people who had made a difference in my life, refusing to delete a screenshot of our texts from three years ago. But it made the growing process harder. Sometimes there are people who are not meant to follow you into the next stage.

I used to wonder why people stopped doing the things they love, until I started doing the same. I tried to make it work, promising myself to continue a certain hobby because it’s what I loved and part of who I was. When, in reality, I was growing into another version of myself. The many stages of growth include many stages of who we continue to grow to be. Life changes and so do humans. We can’t always keep doing the things we love to do.

I see now that growth is inevitable and we can either try and stop it, or let ourselves grow into something even more amazing.

You are allowed to love the things you used to do and the people who were once part of you while letting them go and opening new possibilities.