Growing up, many of us were no stranger to the concept of spring cleaning-- the time of year where we thin out old clothes, re-gift unused items, and pack up the things that served you once but, in the next season, don’t quite do the same. And spring cleaning is not just beholden to the calendar. Quite often seasons will come and go, which require a reassessment and a purging, not only for our coats and books, but sometimes for people in our lives too.
Take for instance, boots-- when boots are in season, they are great; we love them. Some of us even count down to boots season. We imagine out outfits and where we'll wear them and all the oohs and aahs to follow. Yet like any, boots season come and go. And just like boots, when the time comes, the boots have to go. No love lost from the season where the boots were your favorites, the season where you couldn’t live without them, the season where they went with everything. But you look up and sometimes none of those statements hold true anymore. And such is life for some individuals. But what happens when you are the one who gets the boot?
Recently, I’ve had a few close friends, three particularly, who have decided that their lives would be better without me in it. One friend told me that, even though I text and call her directly, because I did not like her pictures on Instagram that I must be jealous of her new experiences, and she “doesn’t need jealous people around” her. A second friend decided because, I was not ready to leave an event when he was, that, after that, “I don’t ever have to worry about him again.” Third, a friend told me, after I wished her a happy birthday on social media much less enthusiastically than she “ever would have imagined,” that I “must not be the same type of friend to her that she is to me.”
In each of these situations, I gave space to each person to share their thoughts, and I responded accordingly. After that, they each decided that they’d rather not. And I am completely okay with that. I too have had to have conversations with people in my life where, unfortunately, they would not be coming to the next chapter with me.
Of course, I’m a firm believer that every bag is not mine carry; that is, every issue presented to me is not mine to resolve or even has anything to do with me, but often times people can carve out a lane for you or assign an identity to you that has nothing to do with you. Part of our responsibility is to ensure that we let what we do (and don't do) be a reflection of who we are. But in either case, sometimes people do not see it for you, and that’s okay.
My grandfather would say “you can’t keep nobody who don’t wanna be kept.” And to that, I’d add “if somebody not trying to keep you, move on.”
In each of these instances, I saw value in our seasons, but with seasons, I recognize they come and go. And sometimes walking is the best thing you can do. And that’s okay.