I’ve been thinking about that quote that says people take pictures of what they fear losing. I wholeheartedly agree.
All through middle school, I had this obsession with putting together a scrapbook of all my friends as we went on our adventures, making memories, all that stuff you think about when you think you’ll be friends forever.
I took so many pictures of them. Dozens and dozens of captured moments meant for a highly stylized scrapbook.
But I never did it. That scrapbook is still sitting empty back in my childhood bedroom – a hollow shell of a maybe.
Because I did lose them. All of them.
I feared for so long that they would leave, and they did. And I was left with all these pictures, all these hopes, all these plans – and that damn empty scrapbook and a booklet with pages and pages of colorful patterned paper.
And these pictures. All these pictures. When I think back to that time of sleepovers and mall dates, co-op mornings, and lake parties, I wonder how I could have missed it. The fact is, I rarely took pictures of myself. I was so intent on capturing everyone else that I forgot to hold onto me.
The problem with having a friend group is there’s always a tether – one person who brought them all together – and when that person decides your out, they take everyone else with them, and you’re left to try and piece together some semblance of understanding on your own, so many questions unanswered, so many plans dropping out into the void. You’ll have to face the fact that no one chose you, and deal with it.
The world will lose color for a while and you’ll forget what it was like to have a place, a group, a tribe – the ones you photograph and paste into books, the ones you imagine being bridesmaids with and meeting up for family barbecues with when your grown, swapping stories and reminiscing about those crazy days.
In the end, we take pictures of what we fear losing, and we lose what we fear losing because we’re too busy trying to keep them that we don’t realize they’re already gone.
These are events that I’ve been working on healing from for most of my life. Most days, it’s a distant memory. Others, I can feel it all like it just happened.
I’m not ashamed of this. I’ve come a long way, and healing is not linear.
The events of childhood shape us whether we like it or not – I choose to do my best to use what I can from my past for the better and keep moving forward.
Thank you for reading.