For-ev-er: (adjective) for ever lasting time;eternally.
When I was little, I used to believe that every decision we made would last forever. If I chose fishfingers over sausages for dinner, in my mind, that decision would somehow effect me when I turned 40. "I'm sorry Miss, but because you chose to eat breaded fish instead of a dead pig 33 years ago, your body has decided to shut down." I can just imagine the conversation now.
As I got older, I realised that perhaps my theory wasn't correct. I mean, the graze that appeared on my knee after I decided to play 'Superwoman' (think climbing up a tree to rescue an invisible cat, getting half way up and then remembering you're scared of heights so you jump out) lasted 2 days. Hardly forever really. I laughed in the face of my theory and I continued to choose fishfingers over sausages until one day, when I had just turned 18, it came back to bite me on the bum.
I had been vegetarian (pescatarian really, as I ate fish) on/off since I turned 13 and for a few months I dabbled with veganism. I lived off steamed brocolli, vegan rice cakes and flavoured water. To say I hadn't been gentle with my body would be an understatement. That was confirmed when the doctors told me my decision to not look after my body had caused an impact on how everything was working inside me. I won't go into details, but let's just say I think twice when I have to choose between fishfingers or sausages.
Since then, I've always struggled with the concept of forever. Some things really are for eternity, while others are simply meant just for a day. While I understand that maybe not all the decisions I make impact my future, it's the figuring out of which decision does. Placing situations in either the 'eternity' box or the 'just for today' box is what confuses me.
When you're little, you spit on your hand and shake it with your at-the-time best friend, declaring you'll be friends until the day you die. You don't realise it at the time but by tomorrow, you'll have elected a new best friend and the spit will have washed off in the bath (I've never liked that 'pact', it's a tad too unhygenic for my liking).
When you're a teenager and your crush kisses you; you may think that your love will last forever and yes, your knees might turn to jelly and your notebook will be covered in his name. But, that boy will soon lose his sparkle and you'll need a new notebook.
You soon learn, when you reflect on things, that saying the word forever is a lot easier than sticking to it's definition.
For example, your parent's relationship might seem like the strongest thing in the world, but there will always be hidden cracks that you can't see. Your friendships may seem tighter than Ebeneezer Scrooge but there will always be one moment that rocks the 'Best Friends Forever' boat.
I'm not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but recently I've learnt things the hard way. I've taken situations for granted, I've believed that some people really will be around until my final day AND I've used the word forever loosely. I've cried when friendships have dissolved and I've eaten my weight in ice-cream when relationships have ended but with the tears and the weight gain comes a new level of understanding: maybe certain things aren't supposed to last forever.
It's that simple really. If everything was forever, we wouldn't be able to grow as people and move onto bigger and better things. It might be sad ending a friendship, but there would have been a reason for the curtian call on this specific friendship and you'll thank yourself when you figure it out. In the words of Rox, the lady whose lyric I used to title this piece, "these memories we'll always treasure, for the rest of our lives...'til the day we die."
That lyric in itself sums up what I'm trying to say. You don't necessarily need something of substance to last forever; you don't need to put the phrase "forever and always" onto something in the hope that it really will last until you die, because you'll always have memories.
My vegetarian/vegan days didn't need to last forever because I know I helped save at least one cow in the 3 years I stopped eating meat for and I'll always have memories of the funny looks I got from people at a BBQ where I just ate sweetcorn. Friendships needn't last forever because I know that for the 6 months they did last, somebody touched my heart and I touched their's. Crushes, relationships, infatuations etc aren't expected to last forever, and it's a bonus if they do, but just remember that you have to move on and make somebody else's life a misery. Besides, sometimes it's fun if something only lasts for a little while.
I've just realised how depressing/negative this blog could seem but please believe me when I say that that wasn't my aim. Read this and then hug the person next to you because they're sat next to you NOW. Don't wait until tomorrow or 'til next year to appreciate something you have at this very moment.