Around this time last year (maybe a few months before) I set my sights on moving abroad to pursue my undergraduate degree. It was a decision that was uncharacteristic for me- a homebody and someone that did not encourage, nor warmly welcome change into my life. However, moving some 5,000 miles away from home has helped me cope with one area of change that I have always found challenging: the change found in friendships and relationships.
With the natural cycle of life, the relationships we hold (may they be within friendships, significant others, or family) are going to change. As we grow, experience and learn, the significance that we place within our relationships will likewise grow with us, or they will otherwise fade. It is those that consequently fade that I have found hard to part with in the past. However one of my dear friends, that I made since moving to England, recently told me about an old Japanese myth: The Red String of Fate.
The theory claims that the Gods have tied a red string around each of our ankles, and that the other end is tied to the ankles of the souls that we are predestined to cross throughout our lives. The people we meet, the paths we cross, and the lives we touch are connected by this dainty red thread. The thread does not know time or place, nor will it break no matter how far it is stretched or how tangled it may get along the way. As the myth goes, the people we meet have been predestined to cross our paths when we need most what their friendships, relationships, and perspectives offer.
Whether I am a believer of myths or not, the theory of The Red String of Fate has helped me find appreciation, and acceptance, in the friendships and relationships that did not continue to grow with me. It helped me put into perspective that not every soul to intersect my path is meant to travel the distance with me, rather they were sent only for a shorter journey to touch me when I required the growth and experience that we could both offer each other at the time. Because ‘The Red String of Fate’ has shown me that not every person is meant to hold an ever-existing and prominent place in my journey, I have gained the ability to move on with grace and appreciation for the people, paths, and relationships that have diverged and faded from my own. I have learned that the relationships that have not seen me through my journey should not be seen for any less than those that have (and will continue to) because they represent what I needed, and nourished the growth that I required, at that point in time- both the good and the bad relationships.