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Published: July 18th 2016
Hike in Potato Mountain
San Bernardino County, Calif.
This has been a very strange summer, to say the least. Perhaps one of the stranger summers I have had in a very long time. And it hasn't been a lovely one per say - in fact I have spent most of it holed up in a windowless office re-studying everything I had learned concerning American law over the past three years. Moreover, it has been a summer for changes and endings: I moved out of Washington, D.C. (hallelujah), finished law school and returned back to California to study for (wait for it) the New York bar. Bar prep is indeed absolute misery. I also hit a quarter century, and lost the one person I had loved since the inception of my twenties, all in the same month. May was, indeed, a shitty-ass month.
But change does not mean bad things at all. When the dust from the dirt storm that was May settled down, and wonderful June rolled in, I took a moment and reflected on everything that I had done over the past seven years. I have done so much, and not simply in academic accomplishments (I am never studying after this exam again! unless of course I fail it then I have to haha) but in traveling and the amazing people I have met from all over the world. I am not sure if I had changed these past three years besides being stronger and a bit wiser which comes naturally with experiences, but I am happy to say that I feel like the same person I had been when I left for college in 2009, and again when I left for Washington in 2013. I am the same inside, and I still love to travel more than anything in this world.
The person I loved, which you may already know from previous entries, is not
the same person I had known when I was twenty, nor the same person I took off to see when I was twenty-one. I don't know what happened to him, but that person is gone and is now replaced with someone I cannot recognize. I tried very hard for a year and a half to see if the man I loved would return, standing by his side with surprising patience that I did not even know I had. But on May 31, I knew deep in my heart it was time to let go. He was gone, and it was something that I had known for a while by then. It was okay to let go now, said my brain which my heart for once agreed. It was peaceful, and it was swift. Not a single tear was shed.
Things end. All good - and luckily all bad - things end. Nothing is permanent in this life, not when my grandfather passed away, nor when I moved out of my beloved Chicago when I was not ready to leave. And my relationship and friendship with this person ended too, which was okay. For anyone currently going through a similar moment of uneasiness and tension, battling with yourself internally over whether you should let someone or something go, I only say this: no one can force you to do something against your will. Loved ones and friends can offer all the advice in the world, but only you will know when it is time to let something go (or even if you should hold on). You may have flashbacks of warm memories and you may even remain friends thereafter (something I admire so very much about my other friends who end their relationships and maintain friendships because I simply cannot), but just know that those feelings and such nostalgia are natural and will pass.
I read somewhere that the brain has a wonderful way of reprogramming itself to forget stressful, dark and traumatic memories. I took comfort in that so much, hanging on to it with almost blind faith, and sure enough less than two months later I have
forgotten. My wonderful trusty brain did its job and helped me forget the pain and sadness I had been feeling only weeks before. Anger is gone, confusion is gone, heartache has eased, even the reason why I let go in the first place is gone, though the instinct to do so remains. It was the right decision, and I am much happier now living a separate life. To all those going through the same thing right now, at this moment, please let me assure you that it will be okay.
Finally, a word on eastern philosophy. I am far more spiritual than I ever give myself credit for. I returned to philosophical texts that have given me comfort during the darkest days of high school, and it is this: 1. If you are live, you will suffer. 2. The cause of suffering is attachment
(like relationships). 3. You can end suffering. 4. You can end suffering through the eight-fold path (life-style changes towards mindfulness, meditation, and strong inner values). Having philosophy to help guide me through these profound changes have instilled a calm pillar in the middle of a perfect storm. This too shall pass. And it did 😊 Onward, forward. It is only after you have lost everything that you are free to do anything.
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