A(n) (E)strange(d) Process

Throughout life, I have learned that there is a process for everything. And usually, although these processes are quite easy to understand, they may prove a challenge or have a few more extra hurdles than we originally expected. In order to get into college, we need to go through an admission process that could take months to complete. In order to go on a trip, there needs to be a gradual process of planning, starting from figuring out how many days you’re going to be away up until buying the ticket and booking the room. Even milking cows and gathering eggs from chickens have a specific process that one must follow in order to get the desired result. And more often than not, when we go through these processes, we reach that desired result. At the end of applying for college, I was able to get into my desired university. After months of planning and debating, I was able to spend two weeks traveling with friends. Going through these processes in life always leaves us feeling fulfilled, allowing us to add on to the list of things that we’re grateful for.

However, just as life is full of processes that we actively and consciously choose, there are certain processes that naturally occur without us noticing. Of course, one of these natural processes is falling in love. Sometimes, it’s easy to pinpoint the exact moment when we fall in love with someone. This could come with a date, a place, and time of day. Other times though, not so much. One day you could be hanging out with a friend at your house, watching Netflix and quite literally chilling on the couch. The next day, the light could hit them at just the right angle and suddenly a couple months later boom- you come to a realization that you’ve fallen in love with your best friend. The process of love is strange and awkward and sometimes uncomfortable. But the desired outcome is always the same: to be with that person for as long as possible. The word “forever” or “always” may linger more frequently on our lips during this process of love, but it’s only natural. As human beings, we want to be with people and we want to share our life’s processes with someone special, someone who we connect with on various levels, someone who can reciprocate the love that we give to them.

And as natural and strange and as welcoming the process of love may be, there is another process that is coupled with it: the process of falling out of love. An estranged process. I’ve experienced my fair share of heartbreak and I’ve also given a fair amount as well. Some, I had the privilege and the opportunity to remain as friends. Others, we became estranged and never saw each other ever again. To those that may not know what estranged means, to put it simply, it is a process of distancing yourself from someone you love or may have loved. Usually the end result is that the two (or more) of you become strangers. Just like the process of love, sometimes an estranged process happens unknowingly over a course of time. One day, their eyes are like stars handpicked from the garden of Greeks gods. And the next, their eyes are like tiny little beetles that stirs up a nauseating feeling of disgust in your stomach. (Okay, that may have been a little extreme, but you get the picture.) And the final outcome is often messy, undesired, and ends with separation. But this estranged process not only applies to lovers. It can apply to friendships and even family members. Which leads me to why I started this post in the first place.

Earlier, I said that some processes happened naturally and without our full conscious knowledge. In my case, it seems as if I’m constantly trying to distance myself from the two people that should matter the most to me: my parents. Now, to save all the nitty gritty details, in short my parents were too young when they had me, they tried to work it out but they couldn’t. In the end they broke up (not divorced), and I ended up in my dad’s custody but was raised by my grandparents. Now throughout my life, I always acknowledged that the two people who conceived me were my parents and I saw them as a father and mother figure. I respected them, for a brief period of time I also despised them, but I ended up loving them all the more. Once I came to understand them as fellow human beings, I enjoyed the time that I spent with either one of my parents and cherished those moments.

But as with life, an unexpected process came my way. I began to feel distant between the two of them and it seemed as if my relationship with my mother and father had somehow changed. As I saw them less and less, coupled with the way we interacted with each other, the more I felt as if I share a brotherly and sisterly bond with my parents. The question “Do I still see them as my parental figure?” floated around quite frequently in my mind. On one side, I had the consistent thought that this may be a certain phase in my life that I would be able to get over after a while. On another note, however, I wondered if this could be the end result of that early separation between my parents. It’s strange, really strange that after all these years of loving them regardless I could feel this way. But in the end it has happened and I need to find a way to make sense of all of this. And I feel the first step is acknowledging that this feeling of distance exists.

If there was one thing that, I think, should be taken from this post it’s that every relationship has the possibility of an end, whether it’s with family, friends, or a loved one, there is an end. However, the end is not nearly as important as the process leading up to it. Definitely a note to self if there ever was one.

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