Ruknoon Shadid Dinder

Cannon Editor

 

Old relationships are so bizarre, don’t you think? And no, I’m not talking about that ex from 3 years ago that you’re still hung up over. I’m talking about the kind that leaves the oddest little memory in the darkest depths of your mind. A memory that plays no part in your daily thoughts; it’s only job is to lurk. And lurk it will, until it’s time to make an abrupt appearance, usually when you’re in the shower or trying to sleep after an unnecessary Reddit fueled all-nighter. If you’ve read so far and can’t relate to a word I’m saying, I truly commend you. To the rest of you, kindly bear with me.

I wanted my first article this year to be somewhat for the first years but mainly talking about an issue rarely covered. And to be honest, I write how I act most of the time: like a clown. I thought that perhaps I could be reflective for a change. I have been stuck at home for quite a while now due to social restrictions, which allows me to be alone with my thoughts. And to be really honest, I watched too much Community so now I see everything through a meta lens. I hope this newfound wisdom helps you deal with some of your own thoughts in life.

We pretend relationships aren’t like an iPhone or a pair of Adidas; getting replaced over time. But think about it; there were once people in your lives who were practically irreplaceable. Where are they now, apart from maybe that one friend that somehow stuck by? That best friend you had in high school; that really close co-worker who just ‘got’ you. How often do you speak to them now? Maybe once a month? How many “we should totally meet up sometime” texts have you sent when they react to one of your Instagram stories? The people you dated, that restaurant you two have been at, those special spots, ‘your’ movie, ‘your’ song, spending long nights Facetiming, the DMs. All just random (hopefully sweet) memories now. 

Let me give you the example of my nonna and dada (replace with your grandparent name of choice). As long as I’ve known them, their priority has been the family, us ‘kids’ mostly. “When will we visit, what will they cook for us, why am I so skinny, why didn’t we call her on Sunday?”, that is their entire world. Yet if you look back to when they were our age, we were never even a part of the equation. They have probably written love letters to someone they didn’t end up marrying, fought with their own parents once upon a time and felt like nobody got them. Isn’t it mindboggling to think that those people don’t exist anymore in their lives? Maybe they do exist in those specific memories, memories which are still hurting them in that weird, sweet, hurt you get when reminiscing something you lost kind of way.

To me, relationships are the children of necessity and emotion. Some are created and broken over the span of a night of partying, yet others form to last a lifetime. The only thing certain is uncertainty. Surprisingly, till death do us apart is probably the most realistic sentiment you can go into these things with: a person can keep coming back into your life, whether physically or in thought. However, contrary to physical presence, lingering memories have no rationale for me. You don’t have a need for them. They don’t evoke any particularly beneficial emotion in you. Yet, you just can’t seem to get rid of them. It often feels like a cruel joke. But that is the truth we must learn to accept.

This piece was for the F!rosh issue so my advice now is mostly directed to you Froshees on the verge of diving into a new life: it can be okay to lose people from your old life, that is the whole point of it. Some people will come and go while others will stand by you all your life. Some of you are leaving your high school friends behind, maybe your best friend is going to uni at the other end of the world, some of you are moving to a new country with new people in these very uncertain times. The bright side is that, with every person who leaves, someone better comes into your life. University can be a fresh new start. And if you’re really lucky, you get to keep your old friends while making new ones. Use that to your advantage. Learn from the past, but also learn to let it go. Because at the end of every day, when you are done hanging out with someone and leave, you don’t know if you will see them another time or if they will be a priority for you ever again. So, make the present count. Cherish everyone for what they are worth to you. And hey, for good or bad, the memories remain.

I wanted to end with a quote from Master Oogway but that’s kind of tacky and everyone knows what the quote is, so I’m not going to. I think the lesson I’m trying to talk about here is that life is fleeting, so hold on to the people who are close to you, love them the most in this moment. So that when you leave, you stay behind as a beautiful imprint in their memories. Wear a mask, stay safe and, most importantly, have a wonderful first year!

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