Sy Calaelen

Teen Years and Growing Apart

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Over the last few days people from my past have been trying to contact me, but I spent the most part of three years trying to get over the pain of being at my loneliest when I was with them. I watched the lovely (500) Days of Summer to lift my spirits a little. Friends grow apart, and I guess now I’m accepting that fact. Let me give you some background information on why making friends is not only one of my toughest challenges, but also how a handful of unknowing people made me learn to hate myself as a teenager, and how these days I see it all as one huge learning curve. It’s easier for me to write this, that way I can keep the long and arduous feelings behind the protection of a computer screen and keep this light. All smiles please!

500days

Growing up you meet all kinds of people, from all walks of life and it can be both benefiting and negative, which is a crucial part of life. You grow up with a sense of what you like and what you don’t, the kind of hobbies and habits you enjoy and most importantly the kind of personalities you can be comfortable with hopefully in ten years. What most young people forget during that time is the self. It’s good knowing you love salty popcorn, witchcraft and cry over any Heath Ledger film, but do you know who you are? Who you truly are? What really matters in life? Do you even know where to start? Whenever I asked myself these questions I always heard the voice of my therapist, Buddhist monk pals or friends always telling me, the answers will reveal themselves throughout life. I have come to realise this with the last decade. Having spent much of my time as a teenager following groups around, and only making friends twice in my upper school years, I spent a great deal of time reading and trying to discover a part of myself that made me happy. What could I possibly create and grow from this broken and invisible body? I was content with myself, and kept my head down when I could to get through the school day. I imagined everything to be fairly quiet and learnt to accept my old best friends had all moved on since moving to different schools. The only relationship I had at the time (besides family, the neighbours and my therapist) was with the Gods. They held my hand through everything.

A part of me always kept a part of my heart open for people who could fill it with their friendship. The only problem was the fact that the open space was moulded to fit certain personalities. So when I met a group of teens my age a few years later I thought they were perfect. As any teenager would agree, your friends become your family of sorts. The people who you gravitate around and you assume they gravitate around you like they do with each other. Life then was all about watching them getting drunk, watching films, listening to music (of the grunge, nu metal and proper rock ranging from the 70s-pre emo shite – type) and hearing about their crazy nights out without me. Brilliant! At first their stories would hurt, but I was so happy to have friends that I just didn’t care. So what if they all kept secrets with each other, and hardly ever shared with me? So what if they would only choose to hang out with me at school and never outside. That’s what friends did, especially if you or I were the imposters to the group. Like I said before, following people around was normal for me, but this group openly called me their friend so living on the periphery was tolerable – for a while. We all stuck it out with each other for two or so years and watched each other grow and develop into young adults. One was comfortable enough to share his love of Playstation, anime and manga with me and to open up about how he saw the world through young gay eyes. Another found me funny. Another shared her phase of Charmed style magick with me (which ultimately became the deal breaker). Another who I actually felt I could be myself with, met various friends and boyfriends who showed their dissatisfaction of me in her life. One of her boyfriends actually stuck to her hip and I spent a lot of time by myself (Once he threw a large Argos catalogue in the air when she suggested spending the evening with me, even though he had been stuck to her like glue for three days), so we went back to hers and I felt guilty being there and eventually I went home. It was okay though, I had my craft and my online buddies to keep me company. I knew in my heart or hearts that we were growing apart and I could either let it happen or hope things will change. They never did, but it made me stronger and more assertive in how I met people in the future.

In my first year of film study I saw less and less of this girl, let’s call her Clara (I’m watching Dr Who right now and even though I’m writing I’m not very creative today [for the non Whovians, Clara is Dr Who’s newest assistant]). She eventually broke it off with that douche bag, but ended up going to college where she met a new best friend. The sad thing is, over the course of that year her new friend quickly became best friends with the rest of the group and they all seemed to forget me. I would do my best and text, call and visit them but they were all busy, or too tired from partying with each other the night before. After 3 months of not seeing a few of my friends I finally mustered up the courage to at least collect a few bits from Clara’s parents’ house and try to say goodbye. As you can imagine things were awkward. We sat in awkward silence for the majority of that day. I felt guilty being there (which became a common occurrence) when she could have been out with her friends instead. They all loved the new girl; she was thin (starving herself – it was the trend amongst teens then) and she was emotional both mentally and physically and they all copied her. We hardly spoke as she made it clear she didn’t like me; they were her friends, not mine. My last stitch attempt at trying to get them to notice me, I made myself loose 3 stone so I could fit in, but they didn’t notice. The last time we all saw each other I was invited to a house party, I assume out of guilt rather than a genuine interest in whether I wanted to go or not, and somewhere around 1 or 2am I went home. I learnt what it felt like to be rejected, but it didn’t stop me.

I never saw those people again, and even though I bump into the odd person here and there or get the odd comment from them on Facebook I don’t want to reopen those wounds ever again. I guess in a sad way even though I’ve grown up by myself, via my own devices, I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven them or maybe I have, but I just haven’t confronted my feelings head on. Every time I see their updates I send them love and light silently, wishing them nothing but the best in life, but a big part of me will always feel full of sorrow and I’ll think about those painful memories. I never told any of them how they made me feel, and to this day I believe I never will. Because of them I’ve always questioned myself, my character and if people truly like me for who I am. Thanks to them I realised I can only be myself and enjoy it as much as I can, and that I needed to find people who would fill that space when they couldn’t. That’s life I’m afraid.

Over the years I learned that only I could fill the void. It didn’t matter how many people I met, or which folks became my friends, I needed to focus on what was important and that was me and my self-worth. Lucky for me, online pagan websites and YouTube have introduced to me to the coolest people ever. I am glad to say I have many friends from all over the world who lead their own lives, and share it, but they include anyone and everyone. They never make anyone, especially me, feel left out or uncouth, and best of all, most of them are hardcore pagans so they know how tough life can be. Life is like nature, you have to cultivate it. Kill the weeds and throw out the dust. Accept that it rains once in a while, accept the storms, accept the sunshine and the sounds of sweet birds flying by – otherwise you’ll be ruined.

Once you find out where to start on your life path go with the flow. Don’t spend your time looking at someone else’s life, or hearing about that group adventure. Go and start your own adventure like I did. Friends grow apart in life, with or without reason; it’s easier to acknowledge that you are an individual with potential. The right people will come along.

Side note to my friends of today: I love you, I always will. Even though most of you live outside of the UK, and even though we don’t talk every single day, know that I care and wish that someday I’ll meet you in person. Some of you may not be pagan, witches, Buddhists, Yogi’s or Thelemites, or even have a clue about half the things I write, but I love you for loving me and all my madness. I’m a tough cookie and I’ve been through a lot to know that life is fleeting and very precious. My promise is to keep my head up, keep the best part of my heart open and include you all in my endeavours. Thank you, x x x

“It was queer how sometimes a child’s innocent eyes can see things that grown men are blind to.”

– George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Sy, =D

PS. My planetary video thing I uploaded yesterday will have written notes here on my blog by next week. I’ve written up most of it all ready, and it’s actually quite short I think. I’m off for a little nap now, I’ve been up since 4am (damn anxiety induced insomnia!) – whoa: almost 8pm! Wahhhh!

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Author: Sy Calaelen

Sy Calaelen is a British writer, blogger and Youtube vlogger, though she isn't filming at the moment. English literature graduate and future social work graduate. Both sites will focus on literary reviews, book lists, comic books and nerd chat, writing and novel tips, and discussions in magick, paganism and the occult. A mixture of everything from her. Reach out on social media from Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, GoodReads, and Pinterest.

2 thoughts on “Teen Years and Growing Apart

  1. I have had problems making friends while I am older than in school. Seems like most people dont like a woman who is trying to be successful in her career and married. Lol

  2. Oh i recognize so much of what you write. I’ve had the same experiences in life growing up as you did. Still makes it difficult for me to trust people and still hard to believe that I now (and I*m 36 now!) I finally made a great friend (or rather a super friend and her sister) and still have difficulties really believing that they like me for me and accept me for who I am and want to be. It’s amazing and I’m happy you found it so much sooner in your life as I did…

    Keep your head high! I know how difficult it can be to be different, but rather to be different as a mindless follower. Right?

    When I watch your videos and read the things you write you seem very wise to me, very smart and a genuinely nice and kind person. Hold on to that part!

    Take care and keep up the things you’re doing!

    Wishing you all the best in the world!

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