Hoping Something’ll Change, Just Some Regrets, and a Spineless Me
By Joshua Kim, English Columnist
3 AM, a friend texts me.
Pictures from long ago.
Shards of past moments.
We share a couple words.
The conversation ends there.
I wake up.
Go to sleep.
A frown on my face.
Hoping I’ll forget.
I was young, just like everyone else in elementary school. Time was slow and fast. The moments I lived in were my everything. And I genuinely, truly, sincerely did believe that those moments would last forever. My friends were my world. And I believed that our friendships, as cliche as it sounds, would stand unwavering against any odds.
I went through my elementary years relying on those friends. Relying became second-nature. I relied without even realizing it. They provided me a sense of belonging and I took it for granted.
Middle school went by a bit differently. I could blame it on puberty. Maybe on my insecurities; I was always the small kid, a midget. A head smaller than everyone else. I wanted to seem like a big person. I knew I wasn’t going to miraculously grow taller in a day. So I mimicked the biggest people I could think of: adults.
Hearing words like: “Wow, you seem so mature!” made me feel bigger, adult-like.
Until sometime someday, I made myself believe that I was an adult.
It’s funny when I think about it.
Just how immature I really was.
Only I’ll ever know.
By the end of middle school, all of my closest friends left school. To all those friends, not once, did I say goodbye. Farewell.
I was still an elementary schooler; soft in the inside, wanting to appear hard on the outside.
More importantly though, I still truly did believe that those friends and our friendships would remain the same no matter where we went.
They were my life. Everything I knew. I couldn’t imagine them changing.
Not once did I contact any of them.
To be honest.
I was scared.
That they weren’t the same people I had known all my life.
That they had changed.
Seeing them post new photos, with new people, with a new style of speaking, in a new community made them feel distant.
No, I ascertained in my own world that they were distant.
That’s when it hit me, that they really had left.
Thinking back, that’s where my immaturity really did shine.
I was scared to find out if they had really changed.
Scared to be exposed as the child I was then.
So I forgot them.
Erased them from memory.
Years of friendship.
Erased them all.
In high school I met new friends. Friends that loosened me up and taught me to be more like myself. Friends that I loved no less than my childhood friends from earlier, despite the short time we had.
However, graduation set us apart once again.
But this time I promised myself that I wouldn’t let it end like before.
That I’d open-heartedly accept any changes that would occur to my friends.
Accept that people change and relationships change if not held on.
Well….. As to whether I’ve been doing a good job at that….
I can’t say that I’ve been doing great. But I do promise that I’ve been trying. And that I’ll try more.
I’ve learned from my mistakes.
And I’m trying to apply what I’ve learned.
I’ve learned the importance of farewells.
Learned that people and friendships change.
Learned that I shouldn’t be afraid of that, but should congratulate them and love them even more for it.
And one day I promise
I promise to set it all straight.
Promise to not be so spineless.
Promise to act without regrets.
Promise to call each and every one of you I’ve missed.
Promise that I’ll connect back.
Promise that I’ll write a more thoughtful letter to each of you than this hasty essay.
Dear Loving and Patient Friends.
Please let me be just a bit more selfish.
Please wait just a bit more until I grow up.
And can appear in front of you each with a bottle of champagne.
Popping it open, celebrating our first day back together after I convey my sincerest of apologies and thanks.
Sincerely with love,
Your friend Joshua