This issue is all about endings and I wanted to share a few of the endings that have been a part of my life. I turned 24 this year and I’ve done a lot of stuff this year that makes it one of my most successful years of my adult life so far; I’ve moved to a new house, started getting a few distinctions, made huge strides of personal development, started hormone replacement therapy, and made some new friendships. But sometimes endings can be just as important as beginnings.
Ending things is sometimes easy, but often it’s hard. We fall into patterns of thinking and some actions become muscle memory and we stop even thinking about them. Have you ever tried to change your vocabulary? To change from saying ‘hey’ when you message your best friend to ‘hello’. Or to change from saying ‘awesome’ when something goes your way to ‘grouse’? It’s quite hard, but it is possible if you keep at it. Somehow the four letter acronym ‘lmao’ [laughing my ass off] made its way into my vocabulary (ironically, as in ‘lmao my life sux’) and I am doing everything I can to get it out (I have enough online slang in my vocabulary and I’d like to cut back), but it’s gotten harder to do because a few of my friends now use it. I’m also trying to end my use of ‘haha’ whenever I say anything in casual conversation. That’s going pretty terribly too.
At the start of the year the relationship with my partner of over two and a half years ended. Unlike my break ups prior to this, it was not a bad ending, but more of a mutual ending as we had drifted apart. Our relationship had been pretty great the whole time, but honestly it just wasn’t a perfect match. We’re both still pretty close friends and that’s probably the best part of our relationship anyway. But we had been drifting apart for a while and it was only a matter of time before it would end.
I’ve also ended several friendships that weren’t healthy for me. This is one of the harder things I have had to do. I don’t like having people upset with me and in the past I have stayed friends with people who have been completely unhealthy for my mental health. But as a ‘new’ me, I have found the will to cut people from my life. Some people know why I have done so (such as the ex-friend I sent a pretty scathing message to, who was pro-Israel), and others less so (I tend to be pretty liberal with unfriending/unfollowing if people continue to perpetuate unhealthy stigmas after they’ve had people attempt to educate them).
I quite recently ended a casual relationship with someone, because while the sex was not too bad (pretty average, but not especially bad), this person was not good for me at all. There was a lot of pressure for me to change things about myself, and they were not the best person to hold a conversation with over some topics (feminism, gender, and politics), which are quite important to me.
I ended a subscription to one of my favourite Youtubers. Their opinions on many topics were absolutely on point, and their videos on specific issues were extremely educational for me. They had recently been talking about an issue that is close to me and they were extremely biased in their handling of it and were completely closed to alternate opinions.
I hate the idea of quitting things sometimes, but other times it’s a fantastic release. I can quit smoking whenever I want, but do I really want to, when it gives me this opportunity to spend more time with specific people? I’ve been through different stages of alcoholism over my adult life, and I think I’m pretty comfortable with being known to most of my friends as a ‘wine mum’. Sometimes my use of microblogging sites seemingly gets in the way of other more productive things, but I quite like how my tumblr looks. Maintaining some of my friendships from it requires a little bit of attention, and I don’t think it really has an impact on my uni work (not compared to other things anyway). I’m also pretty frugal with my money so my casual drug use means I can only do it if I really save up for it, so do I really need to quit smoking weed? I don’t think so, maybe once I graduate…
Words by Elle Void