Growing Up

Today has been a strange day. Spring certainly feels like it’s hanging on the breeze. One of my very closest friends, Isaac, popped by the house and took me to lunch. Spontaneously, he decided on Mike’s Place at Carleton. I haven’t been back to Carleton since finishing up Hums back in ’06. Sitting there, eating my Roti and chatting with him, I could easily remember what I was thinking and feeling last time I starred at those wood paneled walls. The taste of the Moosehead with Moist playing on the speakers, I was very quickly transported back.

Sitting there with a friend I had made in University. He was making me promise him that I wouldn’t fall in love with his best friend. I assured him I was happy in my relationship with my then-boyfriend (I wasn’t) and that his friend would be safe from my wiles (he was. I had no interested in him). I was so passionate about my future, about what I learning, but at the same time, I was so unsure about myself.

This friend, that I had been sitting with, tried to change me to fit into his image of the appropriate female friend for him. He changed the way I dressed. He tried to change the movies that I watched, the music that I listened to. He tried to talk me out of my faith, because it made me weird. He only succeeded in introducing colour into my wardrobe and by convincing me to cut off my hair.

This was me when he met me. A long haired pagan girl with a great love of Tori Amos and Charles de Lint, but no great love for herself. I wore a lot of brown, grey, green and black.

I chopped off my hair and was heartbroken when he told me he preferred it long. It hurt, but it woke me up. I realized I was just a toy to him. Over the next year or two, he would continue to build me up and tear me down in part of some strange social experiment. The good that came from this toxic friendship is totally worth the pain I went through, as I walked away with one of my best friends, Leigh. He introduced us, and I am forever thankful for that. It’s funny that I have been growing it out again, recently. Every few years I feel the need to chop it off, to shock my system into reevaluating things.

Sitting there, in the pub with Isaac, I realized how far I have come in four years. I am secure and happy in the relationship I have with the man I love. I am surrounding myself with people who truly believe that I am beautiful because of who I am, not who I wear. They support my growth.

I am at a place in my life where I feel comfortable to explore my faith, without fear of the reactions of the people I love most. I’m working my faith into my wedding, with the support of my fiance. I have walked away from friendships that I valued more than my self. It’s a scary thing, growing up. I truly believe that I am lucky to not wish to go back and re-live my teens or my early twenties. There were certainly some great times, but I am so much happier for who I am today.  <3

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