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That’s just how it goes: timing, expiration dates and the in-betweens

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

According to NASA experts, “a star is a sphere of gas held together by its own gravity.” Throughout its lifetime, this cluster spends its time in a perpetual struggle against the natural phenomenon that causes objects to gravitate toward each other. Without any apparent reason or justification behind this phenomenon, stars just simply carry on the best way they can…

In reality, life definitely feels like gravity. Throughout our evolution and interactions with other humans, regardless of our understanding of situations, we can all agree that life just knocks the energy out of you sometimes. However, in the past year, I’ve come to realize that life’s events often occur during mysterious time lapses that we might not immediately understand. In essence, sometimes we aren’t supposed to understand how life’s timings work, and we just have to deal with them as they are. Just think about it: do we question food items’ expiration dates? Why should we do the same when certain relationships or friendships expire as well? 

Turnt Milk GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The truth of the matter is that our lives will inevitably undergo constant change. Just like our bodies and thoughts change, it is totally normal for our friendships and relationships to shift eventually as well. Some people grow during different phases in their lives, and expecting them to do so at our own pace can be selfish. 

Almost a year ago, I started to understand this feeling. When I wrote this article, one of my closest friendships, at the time, was hanging on by a thread. Honestly, the biggest mistake I made was to not let go of it sooner. While it was completely valid of me to hold onto the memories and the time we had spent together, this  friendship expired long before we eventually cut ties. Although I was indeed aware of the friendship’s inevitable demise, I told myself I could fix it regardless. This is when, of course, the timing factor came in to transform a star into a supernova. 

Astronomy Telescope GIF by NASA - Find & Share on GIPHY

Up until recently, I had trouble understanding how something so meaningful and important had reached such a sour expiration date. Specifically, I also questioned why it didn’t happen sooner. The signs were clearly there ー some of my other friends tried to make me realize what was happening so I could spare myself some emotional damage. After thinking things through over and over again, I realized that the timing of this friendship taking place just wasn’t right. I feel that if our friendship had rotted earlier, maybe things would be completely different then how they are today. Without any explanation or goodbye, a friendship that lasted years just vanished into nothingness. After so many tries, something about a small-but-specific disagreement made it clear that there was just no going back. 

Once I truly accepted we were way past our due date, everything started to change for good. Although, at the moment, I did not understand the timing, life made sure to add some new friendships along the way to make the time I grieved this bittersweet friendship a little bit easier. Besides that, some expiration dates exist for a reason. After our friendship evidently ended, I went for things, people and opportunities I admit I might not have pursued because of the influence this person had in my life. In essence, this friendship and how long it took to let go eventually became an anchor for both of us. A few months later, as I looked back at our friendship, it became more evident that we were holding each other back ー much like gravitational force does to stars. 

However, I can only speak from my experience. As much as it may kill me to admit, once our friendship fully expired, both my social and professional life blossomed. Once this friendship’s time was up, it was only a matter of time before new ones came to date. Because in essence, that’s just how it goes. 

Pop Tv Goodbye GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

While we may not understand it, I don’t believe in such a thing called “the wrong time.” The reality is that everything happens for a reason whether we want to admit it or not. We seem to think of  unpleasant events as arriving at  “the wrong time” because when the person or the situation arrives, they’re not necessarily congruent with the outcomes we had in mind. Timing is never wrong. Some things in life come to grow with us, and others simply arrive to teach us valuable life lessons. Despite what does arrive, it tends to do so in ways proper to what we need in the moment. Maybe a challenge arrives because we’re stuck, or something positive comes our way because we truly need it then. That is why I’ve decided to welcome things as they appear in front of me. When life decides for things to leave, I’ll grasp on to the times we shared together ー while always leaving the door open to new friendships or opportunities, that is. Pretending some things are forever is like living a fairytale… and that is just not a realistic way to live. 

Whenever things leave or arrive, it is imperative to be clear about how we manage ourselves upon life (or its gravity) trying to shake us up. Eventually, some stars disappear and new ones are born. Some timings, expiration dates and in-betweens don’t have to be complicated. The takeaway here lies  in how we face a situation and the attitude we use while receiving a new one. After all, time will make you accept and let go of many things.

José is majoring in Public Relations and Advertising. This communication undergraduate student from the UPR Río Piedras campus is an energetic Pisces with a passion for fashion, coming of age films, books, crossfit, and dance. Currently, José is a writer for HerCampus and the editorial executive and digital content creator for fashion magazine Imagen and lifestyle magazine BuenaVida.