Oh! How We Grew Into Different People

Little brother,

Growth perplexes me. It’s one of those things I can’t get a grasp of. I can’t seem to fully comprehend. Be it in its subtlety; that puts us in this state of constant denial of it until it fully manifests. To its very core; change and time itself. The revolving constants.

You know how when you ask one of two people who were once close: “what happened to you?” and they hit you with “Life happened.” And immediately we understand. It’s like somehow, we know. How change is synonymous to life itself. Growth is synonymous to life itself.

Nothing stays the same. Well, it seems like it on the surface but… a careful look behind the scenes, unnoticeable alterations are always on the go. A trip five years in retrospect, you realize how much has changed. You realize everything has changed. The faces around you are mostly newer, and fewer. The things you used to enjoy you’ve dismissed some as a waste of time. Alliances have shifted. And you’re hardly the same person you began with. Most definitely, you probably wouldn’t have hung out with a person like you had you met in a distant past. Crazy!

It gets me thinking that maybe… all we have is now. The moments. As abundant as grains of sand.

The past does matter; those are your credentials for the human experience. But never should it hold you hostage for tomorrow you may choose to be different. You may. Maybe you won’t, but you can. And you should. No pressure, but please… And thoughts of the future shouldn’t consume you for who knows what we’re left with of these grains of sand. Now is what matters most. Cause now you get to decide; who are you going to grow into?

Time is fleeting, people aren’t constants. Only the few endure. There’s that quote, “you aren’t growing up unless you’re losing friends” Rather harsh if you ask me. But yeah, that’s how truths are.

In the course of your life you’re going to outgrow people. People you didn’t think you’d outgrow. BFF; Best Friend Forever. More like Best Friend For’now. I think the most important skill as an adult is learning to let go of things once they’re past their lifespan. Time shouldn’t really hold you back in the hope that you’ll resuscitate old bones. Bury the dead.

This may beg the question: Do these bonds we form mean nothing since most of them will fizzle away?

They do. In fact, they mean everything. Even when you become the Assalaamu 3aleykum wa3aleykum salaam type of acquaintances, you’ll always have these moments to look back to. The moments that keep you grounded.

This isn’t to devalue the ties we form but rather being kind to one another and acknowledging that where you’re headed, you can’t go together. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…

So, here’s to the amazing people we outgrew, you’re still amazing.

And to the people currently in our lives. Instead of only focusing on our own personal growth, let’s move as a whole. That’s how relations are sustained. Growing together. Getting into the same amazing things.

The people that endure are the ones who mirror who we are. But in the case that you have to choose between growth and not wanting to leave people behind, growth must be chosen each and every time.

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change, Moments, personal growth, Relationships


Hassan Kassim

Hassan Kassim is a Mombasa-based Creative non-fiction writer, recently longlisted for the Toyin Falola prize, blogger and translator of Kiswahili work. A beneficiary of the Penpen program by African Writers Development Trust(AWDT) commissioned by Culture at Work Africa and the European Union(E.U), and holds his Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Management. Hassan writes about the ill-documented Communities of Coastal Kenya. His work has appeared in Writers Space Africa; his 2 non-fiction stories published in the anthology 'Twaweza,' a collaborative effort of 12 African writers on the African identity and set to appear in the forthcoming anthology for the Toyin Falola prize.

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