Elephants

You know what’s sad?

My old friends don’t know how to act around me anymore, and I don’t know how to act around them either. But why should we? Things change, and people more so. Days turn to months and months fade into years but even the strongest of trees bend to the wind.

No matter how much we resist, and some of us even go so far so to deny, time changes us. Who we are today is a different version of our yesterday’s selves, and an even more different version of who we were a week, a month, a year ago. We live through a multitude of experiences every single day and each moment we spend breathing, moving, living effects a change in us and most of the time we do not even know it has happened until after.

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I’m trying to come to terms with it but accepting change is never easy (and it probably never will be). There’s a huge elephant in the room that we choose to ignore. I feel like we’re stuck in a perpetual state of denial — we’ve grown, matured into young women in their 20s and still when we’re together we speak as if we’re still in high school. It’s awkward and even insulting at some point.

My best friend is the same. Probably the biggest elephant I have in my life so far, I share with her. I speak with no spite, however. But I am bothered and oftentimes frustrated because again, we are stuck in a perpetual state of denial and I wonder how she can turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the big, grey elephant stomping in our presence.

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Wouldn’t it do us worlds of good if we just acknowledge the damn thing? It’s tiring having to put on my high school self like a costume whenever we’re all together. It doesn’t fit me anymore. The self-esteem’s all wrong, the mannerisms are way off base, and the personality is just way out of proportion. And I’m pretty sure they’re getting tired of this as well. We’re like underpaid actors going on stage, rehearsing a play that’s 5 years outdated. It’s demeaning and frankly, it’s an insult.

It’s an insult to ourselves, to the women we’ve become. Disregarding the past five years is equivalent to throwing away all the hurdles we’ve each overcome. It’s belittling how hard we fought to get where we are today. It’s spitting on our efforts to prove our worth not only to others but to ourselves. It’s trampling on the achievements we’ve had all these years — the exams we’ve aced, the classes we were failing but still managed to scrape that 3, the relationships we’ve formed, the organizations we lead, and the resolutions we’ve made. It’s an insult. It is. I know my friends, we’re not one to stand down and accept other people’s bullshit. We fight back. Each of us is a spitfire of a woman and we know what we deserve and we’ll do all we can to fight for that.

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I know I’m probably being harsh and quick to judge. But I call things the way I see them and the way I see it is all six of us bending all the way backwards for this. I wonder if my friends are afraid that we might lose the friendship we had in high school if they didn’t hold on to it tightly. Maybe they’re willing to endure the discomfort of the costumes of our high school selves because they want to preserve things — to keep things the way they were. But life doesn’t work that way, does it? When we cling too tightly to someone, we suffocate them. And life has this uncanny (and oftentimes, annoying) ability to undo all our efforts to keep things the way they were.

I know my friends know all these. We’re all intelligent women, so what I still can’t understand is: why the hell we’re bending all the way backwards for this?

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