I’ve always had separation anxiety when it comes to people. As I’m trying to analyze my attachment struggles, I’m learning so many things about myself these last few years. And so looking back at my elementary school diary makes me realize: I’ve always been like this.
And that fact alone, gives me a little peace. Makes my heart rest easy, knowing that even as a child, it’s a concept I couldn’t grasp. It’s not at the fault of the people I come into contact with (although sometimes….it is….), or the life stages or situations I’m dealing with, but simply my own personality.
And since I don’t have a psychologist or anything like that, I guess you- whoever is reading-will be acting as one for me today. We’ll be diving deep into the few experiences I remember as a kid, about letting go.
So, let’s just take a stroll back to memory’s lane.
I literally remember not being able to stop crying when my mom or grandma would leave me at school. I couldn’t understand how they could possibly just….leave?! It took so many of the teachers to calm me down, I just remember sobbing uncontrollably.
My mom even promised me she’d buy me a present if I could go one day without crying. That day I still ended up crying. But guess what…she still bought me the present. It was a stuffed little bunny. I still have it to this day.
Even every year up until probably grade five or something, the first day of school when I’d have to line up outside, I’d cry.
I guess new environments had always made me feel uncomfortable.
So I met one of my best friends in grade two. She was new to school and the country, and spoke Russian just like me. Something happened I don’t remember, either I helped her with her homework or something, and she kissed me on the cheek, and since then we were basically inseparable. We would fight a lot in terms of arguments (what do second or third graders even have to fight about?!), but we were really close.
Then, as we changed grades and were moved to different classes, she started hanging out with some other kids during recess. She’d chase boys at the playground, talk to the new girls, and I’d just sulk around, watching her have fun and missing my best friend.
It’s so funny to remember these things, like I literally remember coming home, unable to stop crying. My parents would try to calm me down and even pray for me to feel better, but I was literally lost.
I had to move schools after graduating grade six, while my best friends and people I’d known since grade one where all going together to one school. It was so hard, I literally wrote lists of people I hated in my new school, and just couldn’t adjust because I missed everyone else so much. My little emotional 11 year old self.
Poor fetus Carina, so much trauma.
I had a law internship one summer, around grade 9/10 summer. It was a small office, so I was able to talk to mostly all the lawyers and have deep conversations with the secretary. I was only able to intern there for 3 weeks because my family was going on vacation after. But I kid you not, on my last day I was sniffling saying my goodbyes to everyone individually.
I think by now you’ve learned that I am the biggest crybaby out there! I’m literally laughing right now, as I recall wiping my tears before walking up to the next lawyer’s door to say goodbye.
Why??? Why was I like this? I didn’t know the people personally and I didn’t stay there for that long! I hadn’t expected myself to be so emotional.
But I was.
It’s hard for me to write or create anything artistic without the thought of Starbucks. It’s like it’s always my grande finale.
But when you meet people and click so well, it’s hard to let go of the memories.
And so I analyze my clingy self with my past experiences, and realize that this is how I’ve always been. Ever since grade two.
I’ve always been the person to cling to my people. I’ve always been the person that when I meet people, I never want to let go of them. I want to be friends forever because I see so much potential in you, I want to support you, help you, love you, and care for you.
And temporary scares me. It means people can and will leave at any moment.
That’s why my first job really taught me so much. Especially the fact that Starbucks is a temporary job. People are always coming in, and going out. The team changes every other month, with only a few original people. It’s hard to keep track, it’s hard to keep in contact with everyone.
Especially when the times goes by, and suddenly it doesn’t feel the same as it used to.
Because people’s priorities change.
Some people are able to move on to the next thing oh so quickly, while I’m wasting my life away living in the past.
And I’m probably even remembering things wrong. It’s like when you relive memories, you forget everything negative that happened around those times, and only remember the good times. And so, it’s like you’re changing the construction of your memories to fit your ideals and nostalgic desires. While in reality, those times probably weren’t as good as when you are reliving them now.
Does that make sense? I always think about that. The fact that the days you are living right now are so normal. So mundane. Much like those days you keep thinking about. But now that you’re thinking back to those past days, it’s like you’re missing what you don’t have, and therefore the memory of that time is greater than that actual time.
Therefore, can we even trust our memories? LOL I think I’ve gotten a little bit off track with my whole ‘attachment’ issues topic, but I guess for me it does tie in a lot with my memories.
Every single time I drive by my old elementary school on one side of the street, and my house literally right in front on the other side, I see ghosts of myself and my friends.
I see us writing down our poems on coloured poppies for remembrance day and popping them on the grass in front. I see myself sitting on my couch in front of my house, watching my classmates walk home after school, or catching the ice cream truck parked right outside.
I see my sixth grade graduation, me in my lavender purple ruffly dress walking out with the girls, standing, taking pictures, so excited to be so grown up.
Every week on my way to church, I pass it, and grow a beard all at once.
It’s like that whenever I walk to any Starbucks and order my drink. Especially when I go back to my original Starbucks. I feel like all my close friends are sick and tired of hearing me talk about it, but it will always have a special carved out piece in my heart.
Everytime I go there, I will always see the ghost of myself and my favourite people working there. I will always relive those special times.
The good thing about it, was that I didn’t take any of it for granted. I knew that what I had there was something special at the time. I took hours to get ready for work, and loved coming there. Not many people can say that.
And so I urge you, not to be so hard on yourself. Sometimes, you realize that these traits that you try to categorize or put a name on, have always been there in you. They’re innate, something that you might not be able to change.
Why would you want to?
It’s okay, because the people closest to you who really care, will love and appreciate those qualities.
And that’s the most important thing right?
I guess change is inevitable. Every space and phase of your life, will need a different side of you to conquer it. A side that will only unravel itself after the strength you created for yourself after those experiences that were meant to weaken you.
So for now, whatever days you’re going through, just know that new environments are only new for the first day.
And crying never hurt anybody.