Birthday Series: Day 7- Yinka Adewuyi.

“Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.”

“For we choose those we keep and those we let go”

More often than not (honestly, I’d like to think all the time), we grow apart from the people we used to care about and love because we want to. Or they want to. Maybe not in the I’m-done-with-you or a slam-the-door-on-your-way-out kind of way. Usually, it’s a process. All the time, one of both parties lets go first. Growing apart is not such a mystery like we make it seem, or we make ourselves believe. You think it just happens, but it is a conscious act. Sometimes, the universe sets us up and makes us believe there was absolutely nothing we could have done differently.

“I think it happens to everyone as they grow up. You discover who you are and what you want, and then you realize that the people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do…”

As humans we grow – we become older every morning with a fresh view to life based on yesterday’s experiences. We don’t notice the little changes, but they happen. We form new opinions about life. We adopt new values and habits. We evolve. We travel and relocate. We learn new things and become more enlightened. We fall in love and lose people to death. We deal with pain. We deal with new challenges. Life happens to us, and some people in our lives fall along the way because they just don’t fit in anymore. Regardless of how we feel about them, if they don’t fit into our moment, we let them go.

“… And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on”

Truth is, we cannot keep hold on to every single person we’ve made friends or acquaintance with – It’d be a huge circle and one impossible to manage. You want to live in the fricking moment, so you have to let go of what was; of the things and people that don’t fit in anymore. Because you, like them, will grow up, evolve and deal with life. You’ll meet more people: some of them you’ll still lose, a few others will last a long long time – maybe for as long as you live. But in the end, the memories of the times you were might just be all you’d be left with. And the memories would make a part of your story. And you’ll feel your heart warm every time you remember them or cross paths again. And you will be fine.

“You have to let people go. Everyone who is in your life is meant to be a part of your journey, but not all of them are meant to stay till the end.”

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Yinka A.

Author’s Nsme: Yinka Adewuyi

Blog Address: http://www.yinkawuyi.wordpress.com

Author’s Bio: Eccentric. Ordinary. Deep and wishful thinker. Life-liver. Benjamin Clementine’s biggest fan.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

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Birthday Series: Day 6- Sheedart.

“Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.”

As a teenager, worrying over the slow pace of the growing up process and counting down the years to when I could begin to enjoy all that privilege that came with adult-ing, I never for once thought growing up may mean growing apart from some of my friends. I had no clue that growing up is a crazy business that would mean making choices and treading on paths that may cost me friendship(s) I thought would last forever. In the course of growing up, I’ve had to drift apart from friends who were very dear to me. Some, because we started to have different interest, acquire new knowledge, grow in different cities, and others, just because.

I had this friend, once upon a time. We connected on Facebook just after secondary school and grew really close, it was almost as if we were in a relationship. We would call and text each other all day long, and never ran out of things to talk about – telling each other things we wouldn’t tell anyone else, and discussing everything and anything. At the time, if I was asked who my best friend was, I would have mentioned her. The friendship was just so MAG, MAG-er than any I had with my other friends – online and offline. Then, she enrolled for A-level classes, and everything changed. It was the beginning of the end. She picked up new interests – fashion and makeup, made new friends, and didn’t particularly have time or feel like keeping in touch with me anymore. I tried to hold on, calling and texting, and at a point, it felt like I was forcing the friendship on her.

It took my getting admitted into the university and having my hands full with lectures and assignment, to accept that we were now treading different paths, and things couldn’t go back to the way they were. I was so busy with burying my heads in different books, aiming for the first class – my own version of growing up, I had no time to stalk get in touch. And she? Well, she was busy treading her own path too. At the end, I understood that it was okay for us to grow apart, and it didn’t in any way take away from the experience or memories we shared.

We all start as strangers, and sometimes, end that way too.”

-Unknown

I, recently, just made some amazing friends; and I desperately hope as we grow up (I don’t think we ever stop growing), we won’t grow apart. But I’m also aware that growing up, for me or them, may mean or cause us to grow apart. What to do? I’m shoving that knowledge aside, and enjoying my time with them.

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Author’s Name: Sheedart

Blog Address: http://www.sheedartspace.com

Author’s Bio: I don’t know what I’m addicted to more: writing, reading or movie-ing. I’m a microbiologist with an hyperactive mind and a lot of time on my hands. Hi, I’m Sheedart, and it’s nice to meet you.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

Birthday Series: Day 5- Temitope Idowu.

“Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.”

“Should I say hi first?” I thought to myself. “It’s been quite a while and we really don’t talk…but I should say ‘hi’ with a smile…” Then she walked past and I ended up saying a curt hi. She replied briskly without a smile and my face was unusually straight. I could feel it.

As I walked away, I wished it wasn’t like that. I wished we were those kids that greeted one another for no reason, saw each other off to buy things for Mummy and visit each other’s place for little gist and novel exchange. We’ve become known strangers and it hurts…

It was hard to accept this turn of events but we seem to wear bigger clothes that make us feel bigger(proud). We’ve grown bigger in size and it has made us haughty in our thoughts. Its suddenly a competition between us on how differently we are growing up. Its a shame, we stopped being children at heart. Our young love is lost and we only look at the surface.

Last week, I saw Will Smith’s ‘Collateral Beauty’ (great movie), though it had nothing to do with growing up but it opened up a side to relationship that made me deeply ponder. There was a part where this line was mentioned, “If only we could be strangers again…”

I wish I could be a stranger to my childhood friends, where age, background, status, religion didn’t matter. We were curious, we were supportive, we were forgiving and it’s mind-shattering to see great friends walk away so casually. No longer friends but ‘Longtime neighbor’ as one of them described us.

What happened to the supportive days where my pen came alive because ‘they’ wanted to read every word I wrote? What happened to the novel exchange days, where we’ll give ourselves four days to finish a ‘Danielle Steel’, a ‘Nora Roberts’ or my favorite of all a ‘Sandra Brown’s novel? Geez! What went wrong?

Why did I stop loving that guy I fell madly in love with and I said my first ‘I love you’ to? Now I can barely stand him. And we had to grow apart due to little quarrel and unending resentments. It’s hard to watch someone I did crazy things with, draw an imaginary line with class. It’s even harder when I try to reconnect and I feel like I’m trying too hard or being pushy.

I cannot categorically say that I didn’t change but I can’t let go of the ‘they’ I knew. Interestingly, some stayed, some made growing up still relatable and we have stories to tell but a lot are lost… Those who would make my growing up story complete are absent.

“Hey! I miss our innocence. Can we be strangers again?” I will say to her with a smile and hope she would smile back, make my memories alive and this time, she doesn’t have to just walk past.

I miss my childhood friends… 😦

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Author’s Name: Temitope Idowu

Blog Address: http://www.temitoria.com

Author’s Contacts: Youtube Channel– Temitoria; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook– @Temitoria

Author’s Bio: Temitoria is a Content Developer, YouTuber and Author. She loves being happy and she believes happiness comes from doing what you love.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

Birthday Series: Day 4- Tony Michele

“Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.”

Adults are supposed to know it all. Aren’t they? They seem to know it all, or at least have all the answers. I’m sure they have all the answers. They behave like they do. They demand respect like they do. After all, they’ve been here longer than I have.

I was wrong. I wish I could say I assumed it all – that they had all the answers, but I’d be lying, and no one ever said different. They all nodded in unison or seemed to or worst still, looked away while respect was demanded or “truth” was handed down.

Sometimes, wisdom doesn’t come with experience and knowledge with age.

Sometimes, growing up means growing apart

Sometimes, using the word ‘sometimes’ increases the probability of a statement being true

Sometimes

,

The mind is a powerful thing

We live and die by our mindsets

As we live, love, learn, we grow;

To truly live is to grow – or age, at least biologically

,

To grow up is to grow apart

From mindsets and the respective things or people it attracts or one is attracted to

Even if one’s mindset(s) don’t change, that of the people around certainly will over time

This echoes the only certain thing in life – change

Sometimes, growing up means growing apart

.

“20 children don’t play for 20 years.” – Unknown

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. – 1 Corinthians 13:11 (AMP)

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Author’s Name: Tony Michele
Author’s Bio: Bio: Part-time writer learning to live, love and laugh.
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© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

Birthday Series: Day 3- Celebrant’s Edition.

It took a long time to settle for my birthday theme. I had wanted to do something, write something—about growing up, finding myself, being, becoming. I scoured for inspiration from my surroundings, searched my mind for unrelenting memories, but nothing came; until I stumbled upon the quote (that is now my working title)– “sometimes, growing up means growing apart”, which reminded me of the fickleness of being; of how life demands that we learn, unlearn and relearn, about ourselves and about others. And how it is never so much about ‘many things learnt at once’, as it is about ‘one thing mastered in so many ways’.

You see, I have found that life teaches us its lessons in instalments. Everyday emerges in the midst of chaos that we must sift through to find our own voice, and sometimes, it takes over twenty years of being to realize that no matter what the world is saying, you are worthy; your voice is no less a miracle; and your purpose is not diminished by the sameness or difference you perceive between yourself and others. I didn’t have too many friends while growing up. I didn’t know how to keep them and i still don’t. So, our drifting apart seemed quite natural, because i was too busy figuring ‘how to be a great friend’ and they were busy getting impatient. But I am not as i am without reason, life divorced me from my innocence, and I took too long to fight back.

Childhood was made of pretty days. One of the joys of being a last child is you almost always get away with everything. And boy, did I! My formative years were built on a foundation that made me acquire the taste of true love and happiness. I quickly surmised that love was the color of life until I got into High School. Childhood escaped me introducing the stark reality that comes with teenage. The thing is when you are so little, everyone else seems so big. When breasts are fast budding on the bosoms of other girls begging the need to contain their possessions in sleek brassiers and stuff, you are reminded of your shadowy nipples that still lie behind the comfort-y caress of your childhood singlet. And don’t you dare undermine the depreciation that hits your self-esteem with this kind of knowledge, when you are a teenager, when you are a girl, and when you are me.

You become self-aware. You start to shrink. You learn alone-ness, and you talk less and write more. You start to shy away from anything that has to do with the effervescence that accompanies the knowledge of one’s femininity. Because teenage is that time when you practice being an adult, the time when you choose  a path—to be a victim or a villain. I chose the former, or maybe it chose me. The girls were unkind, the boys were bullies; the seniors were a nightmare, the juniors mostly lacked the sense of respect. So, I unlearned the grace of love and quickly acquired the sense that life was full of unkind people, that love was not the color of life. I learned how little I was and how I didn’t look feminine enough—because no curves, no hills, no mounds, and too much muscles in my calf. I cried so often. I hated people, boys. Yet, I managed to misplace my heart inside a boy, then two, and then three, then some more—it felt good; until one heartbreak, two, three, then four… and I learned that love is inevitable, and people come and people go (most are not really made to stay), and nothing lasts forever.

These days, I still don’t have many friends. I am still a very little girl; I am rather very thin too, and have muscles in my arm and legs. I walk so fast, because I have learnt to run away from bullshit and people that bring it. I plug my ears to distance myself from the rot that spill from the mouth of people around me. I revel in music. I live on paper. And I am very much the same as yesterday but in a different way… because these days, I call my fears by name. Everyone is still saying so many things, but I have found my voice and I more than often listen to it alone. And I am finding comfort in my sweet-16 size and face, finding the balance between being cordial and appearing rude. And more, I am finding succor in the knowledge that everyone is breaking and in search of healing. Some heal by breaking others, some heal by closing up. So when people hurt me, I am not so quick to call them names. I get mad, yes; then try to put myself in their shoes, then I pause and pray for them because it must have been a tough call. Because when I hurt people, I break so hard too.

In the end, we don’t become who we are all at once; we take our time, lose some and gain some. Sometimes, circumstances demand that we leave some realities behind: people, places, things most cherished… sometimes, circumstances take us away from ourselves– the need to conform to religion, family, society, or be a little less different than everyone else; so that we find that growing up means breaking away, not just from people but from ourselves too.

And it will be painful, but it will be worth it, mostly.

Because, again, one thing life will teach you is– tear after drop of tear, pain after scathing pain; we learn how to stand, by mastering how to fall.

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It’s 2103 baby! 

Here is a big thank you to everyone participating in this series. And a special thank you to Sheedart and Su’. ♡♡

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©The Short Black Girl, 2017.

Birthday Series: Day 2- Oluwapelumi Seriki.

“Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.

I have heard it said that a young child is like an uncultivated land, whatever seed is sown in it, is what it bears. In our formative years, we are basically trying to understand life and chart a course for ourselves. We may form relationships at this stage but we know little or next to nothing about life, to determine whether they will be lifelong friends or not. There’s a certain age a person attains when he can be said to have imbibed certain values, culture and belief system that will guide him through life subject to some changes here and there. It is this belief system or values that will subconsciously guide his decisions going forward, including his choice of friends. This may cause his circle of friends to change. As the Yoruba saying goes ‘twenty children cannot play together for twenty years’, because life will happen and distance may separate them.

For example, there was this girl who was my bestie in primary school, I think primary three (3) or thereabout, but later left for another school. I tried tracking her down but was not successful until I was in SS1. She was in JSS3 in a school close to mine. On this fateful day, I saw her come out of school with her friends and went to introduce myself to her but she could barely recognise me. I was so disappointed. I still wanted the friendship but she had since moved on.

However, I must add that there are some relationships that are so close to our hearts that we will never let go of despite time and distance. Growth is inevitable, it’s not something we decide or choose to do, it just happens. Just like we don’t decide to be born or not, we also do not have the power to decide whether or not to grow. However, it’s in our power to decide whether we want to grow apart from certain relationships. It doesn’t just happen, we make it happen, whether consciously or not.

If you’re not in touch with some of your friends from secondary school / university, it’s because you deliberately, over time, let the friendship slip but there are some you are still in touch with because you probably can’t imagine your life without them or put another way, you enjoy having them in your life. Because somehow you want them there when you’re 50, 60, 80 and 100.

At the end of the day, as adults, the decision to grow apart is one that one, or more, of the parties involved in the relationship decides to make, for some reason or the other.

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Pelumi

Author’s name: Oluwapelumi Seriki

Blog Address: http://www.royaltyrunsinme.wordpress.com

Author’s Bio: Oluwapelumi Seriki is a young woman with zest for life. A legal practitioner, writer, lover of books, tasty cakes and ice cream.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

Birthday Series: Day 1- Taiwo Odumala.

“Sometimes, growing up means growing apart.”

Weeks ago, before Ed Sheeran released his album Divide Deluxe, I saw Castle on the Hill on Youtube and it brought me to tears. It reminded me of friends life has thrown me apart from. They will always be home even when we are miles; and focus, apart now. Weeks after that song was gone from me, Damore talked to me about what is now the title of this post. My first draft of this, lengthy as it was, just wasn’t hitting the right spot. The day after writing it, I turned on my iTunes while at work and there it was again, Castle on the Hill.

 “One friend left to sew clothes

One walks down by the coast

One has two kids but lives alone

One’s brother overdosed

One’s already on the second wife

One’s just barely getting by but

These people raised me and I

Can’t wait to go home”

– Castle on the Hill, Ed Sheeran

As life happens, we will have less and less in common with those whom we grew up with. We’ll drift apart when our dreams go different ways, when our ideas are worlds apart or when our dreams are not even happening at all. In fact, it can be as simple as moving to a different location.

It starts with one person; gone in search of green land, stuck with a difficult family, wanting something different, studying for another degree, getting married, or even stuck with an unplanned pregnancy. And right then, growing up will mean growing apart.

We may have watched the sun set on childhood and watched a new sunrise on adulthood but we should not forget to play catch up with those old friends when we get the chance.

Thank you Damore, for the chance to put this to ink.

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Author’s name: Taiwo Odumala

Blog Address: http://www.odumalataiwo.wordpress.com

Author’s Bio: Fervent writer. Growing copywriter. Discovering life

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© Short Black Girl, 2017.

Growing up.

As you grow and advance in age, might, and thoughts, certain things become clearer. You become more aware of who you are, what you want, what you need, who should stay, and who can leave. You make mistakes, you get scolded, and then you maybe learn from the lessons of your fall, at which point you start to ponder on how to become a better you. Friends will come with their smiles, filling moments with the sweetness of love and care. Boys will come into the picture, telling you things like ‘you fine, will you be mine?’, ‘can we hang out?’ ‘Damn babe, you hot!!’ They will swear they love what you’re doing, and who you are just so they can get the ‘cookie in the jar’. But you’re wise, or maybe you’ve been a victim one too many times in the past, so you know they ain’t getting none, cos they shouldn’t! You know you should only do those things that’ll make you fulfilled. You begin to understand that nothing will last forever- not those sweet girlfriends because they can be ‘bitchy’ at times; not those boyfriends because though they like you, they are not mature enough to be there without wishing to be ‘there’. You realise life should be counted in moments. You stop expecting, and start preparing! You think less of birthdays, and think more about everyday! You stop ‘speacialising’ people because we’re all the very same fallible human beings. You learn to smile every time even when your heart’s ripped up inside. You smile even more in the face of foes, because you know nothing be killing them more than that. You learn that the best things in life are not the most attractive. You learn to believe. You learn to be happy. You learn that little does more, and that one or two true friends or maybe your family alone, is better than a thousand fans, and a million friends! You begin to see life from a different perspective- as a journey rather than the destination. You learn that the most beautiful thing in life is happiness- happiness with yourself, happiness for others. You realise that the most important thing in life is gratitude- to God, your family and everyone. You begin to see that respect given is respect earned. You realise that every disappointment has gotta be the beginning of the fulfilment of all your dire needs because you’re a believer and a worshipper, and children of God never lack. You learn that trust is over rated; you surprise yourself, so why won’t some brother or sister out there surprise you? You realise that Karma is really a bitch, and what goes around comes around. So if you’re a faithful babe, and that brother be cheating on you, maybe he’s not just your dude. Though you may not always get worth commensurate to what you give, you should know what you deserve and fight for it!

As you grow and advance, you learn that you’re imperfect, beautiful, and that someone out there really loves you- God! You learn to trust God more for the best. You realise you’re lucky and blessed. You realise that all you have is yourself, and that what you make of yourself determines what others will make of you.

Eventually, Life will happen, things will change, people will go, and memories will fade; but I hope you grow to learn also that regardless of what happens and in everything you do, you have to remain your best. Your race is yours to be run; your battle, yours to be fought… Focus. Keep up. No one will run better in your shoes. No one can fight your war for you.

Growing up is a phase, a process and a course of life.. I hope somehow sometime you learn this too.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2013.