It was one of those painful days, when I heard a voice from inside.
“You’re unhappy, aren’t you?” My younger self asked me.
“Yes, I am.”
“You say that you have moved on from your loss. Yet why are you so unhappy?”
“I don't know. I gave it a lot of thought, but I just can’t figure it out. I have moved on, but why I am being unhappier as days are passing by?”
“I know why,” my younger self smiled sadly.
“Because you may have moved on from the loss of the person you once loved, but you haven’t moved on from me.”
It was an epiphany that dawned on me. I haven’t come to terms with the loss of my younger self.
It all started on the night of my 16th birthday, the night when my best friend said goodbye to me.
We first met when I was 12, befriended at 13. It was a bumpy ride, but I could hold on because there was love, intense and even obsessive love. Finally, it was over when I was 17.
“Sorry. I can’t anymore.”
Those words reached me one fine morning, and I didn't see that coming. Those brutal words declaring the end of a friendship that I cherished with my heart and soul, started working on me like a slow poison.
I could never imagine my life without a best friend back then. It felt like if I lost my best friend someday, I would lose myself too. And when it really happened, it turned out to be true. I indeed lost a part of myself. It left me with a shattered heart, chronic loneliness and nonclinical depression.
But the worst thing that happened was, I could feel my younger self melting away but there was nothing I could do about it. I tried to hold onto her, but she was slipping away.
I no longer read books like I used to. My heart no longer beats in excitement while meeting up with a friend. I no longer feel the emotions of the singer while listening to music, and I almost stopped listening to love songs. Stories about heartwarming love and friendship didn’t make sense to me anymore. My smiles are forced. I can’t fall in love with people easily like I used to. Inside, I felt cold, as if my heart was freezing. I feel my innocence fading away.
At first, I resented the person who was the root of all these mess. These days, rather than blaming her and hurting for her, I mourn for my younger self. Every single day. My relationships are crumbling. My life is wasting away. All because I lost my younger self, who was pure and innocent. I wish I could stop time and never grow up.
“Why did you leave me?” I shook my younger self hard. “I miss you every day. And my life doesn’t feel like my life anymore without you. I feel like I have transformed and turned into another person, but I don't want to be like that. I want to be you again.”
“Hey,” she said, “Don’t be silly. You have to grow up someday. You can’t be a child or teenager forever. You were bound to let me go someday.”
“Why? What’s wrong with being like that? I don't want to be an adult like this! I don't want to live out my youth.”
“Letting go is hard, and cruel even. But you have to do it in order to live on. It’s time for you to let me go and accept and embrace your present self, and start living as who you have become. Once you accept who you are now, things will start getting better. I can assure you of that.”
“Does growing up have to mean losing you?”
“You haven’t lost me yet,” she smiled, “I am still here,” she pointed at where my heart is, “And I will come visit you from time to time to see if you are doing well. Don't you worry. I am still with you, and I will always be.”
I trusted her words. starting today, I am set on the journey to love who I am today, who is a part of me too. It’s time to let the past go.