• Nov. 6, 2020, 6:17 a.m.
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There is no such thing as ‘forever’. Call me a cynic, but you know it’s true. We’re mortals and bound to change. What you may enjoy now, you may not be keen on later. You may also say you love this or that person truly, madly, deeply, and completely…but there’s still a possibility that you’ll end up hating each other if things go too far wrong and the damage gets irreparable.

I know, I know. I sound like an absolute killjoy. You may decide to stay the hell away from me if all you want is ‘positive vibes only’. If you open your eyes, you’ll see that none of this will last.

I think change is the only certain thing in life. When you think and wish that everything you adore will always stay the same (and stay with you and for you too, perhaps), life can surprise you with its most annoying twist.

For starters, you do know that you can’t keep playing with the same old toys when you’re not a kid anymore. You’ve outgrown your clothes, your once favourite TV shows, the silly little games you played outdoor with your siblings, cousins, and friends. The grownups will ask you to behave, to start acting like the more serious older kids you’re supposed to be.

In some cases, you just stopped hanging out with the friends you used to refer to as BFFs for many reasons. Some other times, they left you first.

Teenagers probably have a change of heart and mind as often as the trends in the media. Fashion, music, movies, friends, the in-crowds, hangout spots…you name them. All the adults will shrug them off and say: “Oh, it’s just a phase. Soon they’ll grow out of it.”

To those who once spent their teens glued to rom-coms and other Hollywood-related products, they’d probably believed that people they always loved would stay in their lives forever. No wonder some hearts were easily shattered when they realized that – not just death – other factors could be the cause of those unwanted changes.

Some changes occur without any explanation. Oftentimes, you just have to deal with them and accept reality as it is. You can’t deny how much it hurts you, but at the same time – the world out there expects you to pretend that you’re always okay. You can take it. You’re old enough to survive after each change in your life.

Does that mean it’s impossible to keep some of the things with you – and wish for some good things to stay the same? I didn’t say that. Look, my parents had been married for over three decades until Dad passed away in 2014. I’ve stayed friends with some people for a very long time, some even over a decade. None of them is like a walk in the park.

I still love writing and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. Well, hopefully.

Do you know what else that I don’t want to change about my life?

I hope I’ll remain independent and not feel too attached to anyone or anything. I don’t know if that’s even possible, though. All I know is that I can’t force people to stay and I don’t want to. I can’t keep them from leaving even though I wish to.

I just want to stay strong, even when I see another one leaves me behind and I have to be on my own. That way, I hope I won’t be too bitter, too disappointed, and too heartbroken.

After all, eventually – we all die alone…

(From the Weekly Writing Challenge by Jakarta’s Couchsurfing Writers’ Club on November 6, 2020. The prompt: “What do you NOT want to change about your life?”)

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