top of page

The Blessing of Knowing When to Let Go

I grew up Christian and was told about the value of loving others. I was also taught to put other’s needs before my own and to be as selfless as possible. It’s what Jesus would do! While I do carry these teachings with me into my current relationships in my adult years, I am now forced to reflect on what all that selflessness has done for my health: mentally and emotionally. In my head, friendships meant a lot more to me than a person you would see in class sometimes or someone you shared a common interest with. My friendships became an extension of my personality and myself. I put so much weight and value into people who oftentimes did not feel the same way. But that’s alright because it’s what Jesus would do! Over time, I wondered if this is all my life would be: constantly thinking about whether people felt the same way I did about them or if I would ever find someone who valued my time and company as much as I valued theirs. I knew a lot of people loved me, but did anyone ever truly like me?

Moving out of my childhood home and starting all of my friendships over from scratch helped me realize who I am outside of others and what I cherish in a friendship. But, more importantly, it made me realize what I don’t appreciate in a friendship. In my first semester in New York City, I was set on creating spaces where I was loved and I pushed for open communication with people who wanted to have me around. After a rough senior year of high school in my hometown, I felt it was what I deserved (and I got it!). I was having fun, people online thought my life was cool, and I was getting what I needed on the surface. I wasn’t anyone’s therapist nor was I anyone’s burden. Winter break came and went and those same people who I swore would be down for me until the day we graduated didn’t seem to care if I lived or died. I was back where I started: caring too much while not being cared for at all. But something was different. I understood that my circumstances were vastly different from when I was living in my hometown and I could create or break off anything, or anyone, I wanted. So I let go.

Nothing is permanent. While I have never gotten over anything ever, I have learned to release these people from my immediate consciousness and tell myself that those people were never meant to be in my inner circle for a lifetime anyway. I don’t wish them ill (anymore) and I have found peace with the fact that we are all people living and experiencing life for the first time, it wouldn’t be fair of me to hold people to things they did when they were growing and learning about themselves (and I hope they would do the same for me). 

Ending friendships, whether intentional or not, has given me the opportunity to find other people who care. If these relationships are only for a season or the rest of my life, I don’t care as much anymore because I know that what I have now, I didn’t have four years ago; I am grateful for the people I have been blessed with and that they have allowed me to move through life with them at the stages we are at. Flaws and all. 

This does not mean I don’t care about my friendships with people as heavily as I did in the past, this just means I have a better understanding of where to put my energy and if things don’t work out, I move with grace and humility. Life keeps pushing and so will I. Friendships may cease, but my love and empathy will continue to flourish.

Written By Diana Victoria

Photography by Garrett Hoy

Creative Directors: Lucy Anderson, Veronica Anaya

Production Manager: Diana Victoria

talent: @najeeed1234, @millacapri on Instagram

bottom of page