Facebook goes through a gazillion updates every month. They keep trying to make it more relatable to the millennials. Truth be told, a majority of the millennials were toddlers when, my friends and I got Facebook. We were the ones who got on Facebook (thanks to our college email id’s) before they made it accessible for everyone. One of the nicer updates that started sometime in 2016 was Facebook memories. I am pretty sure the idea behind it was to invoke a sense of nostalgia. It’s an attempt to remind you that on this day, each year, what is it that you were doing. Some of the memories that surface are wonderful and puts a smile on your face, some memories, however, don’t have the same effect.
Recently, I have been noticing that a lot of my early 2007 statuses were passive. They sent me right back to freshmen year college and reminded me of certain instances that were the cause of my melancholy. That’s when I realized; why ten years later those status messages are still bothering me. I never got a chance to tell those who are now close friends of mine, how much they hurt me. I taught myself to move on and brush the incident under the rug. Two of the people whom I had met within the first few days of college, after a particularly distasteful conversation had individually written hurtful emails to me. Providence is that, we were able to move past that incident and become great friends. But, 19 year old me was completely broken. Friend A wrote out a lengthy email enumerating everything that was bothering her about me, and friend B sent me a nineteen page word document telling me everything that was wrong with me. I didn’t leave my room for two whole days. They never once came to check up on me. I was alone and broken. The day I was coming home for the summer, they walked into the dining hall and sat at a different table, walked behind me to the dorm and never said goodbye knowing fully well that I was leaving for four months. I was determined not to come back to America. I didn’t want to come back and see them. Those people who had gone to such a lengths to completely break me as a person. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a strong set of friends from school. Sure, we have our differences, we’ve become strong individuals, but, had it not been for them and Hotmail messenger, I don’t know what I would have done. Over the summer, I read a book called “Zahir”. There were these lines about letting go that I find myself going back to time and time again.
As I cried each evening trying to reason with my parents why I don’t want to go back, I couldn’t tell them, it was because my friends broke me from the inside. So, I pleaded, begged, and even told my dad that he didn’t love me till a deal was struck. I would go back to college, provided, that I could transfer out the following year. This also meant that I would have to let go of my scholarship. Dad, agreed. I must have done something right in my life to deserve him as my dad.
I went back to college, semi healed. The only mission I had was to transfer out and find new friends in the city. I managed to do both!
The process of healing can be a long one. Mine has taken ten years. I do get emotional thinking about helpless nineteen year old me, not knowing what to do. Not being able to talk to anyone about it. So I am glad there are books. Certain lines just speak to you. They can teach you to love yourself, even when everyone around you doesn’t. It has taken me all this while to understand, the just because we let go of something, doesn’t mean that it stops hurting you. Certain scars will forever remain.
These are lines that helped me begin the process of healing. I had written it out on a sheet of paper and stuck it to my desk in my dorm room. I’d read it once a day, till I realized I had 6 classes and no time to feel sorry for myself. 😛
“That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir