One of the weirder things in my eyes was and is always when my friends suddenly started to be... real adults.
They are independent, have a car licence, travel the world, have a serious job... They marry, have children, are a healthy and productive part of society... They are the perfect example of what you're supposed to be as an adult.
And quite often they leave my life with that. Or I'm leaving theirs? I'm not sure, but the result stays the same: One day reading comics starts to be childish. Dreaming and drawing and loving cartoons is not "the way" anymore and instead of being that cool friend with the strange mind, you're turning into the loser with ticks, who still struggles with small office jobs and never tried to achieve higher education.
People drift apart all the time. But it never stops being weird to drift apart because of something that made you friends in the first place.
Each and every time I get reminded of the story of the man who parted with his shadow to be able to marry a mermaid.
The fisherman fell in love with a mermaid, but he could not live below the sea and she could not live on the dry lands. She had a solution though: He had to take a magical knife and sever the connection between himself and his shadow. Then he would be able to breath below the water surface and could marry her.
He was warned: if he did go back to the land and joined his shadow again, he would never be able to return to the sea.
It didn't seem like a big thing. So, he cut his shadow away easily.
The shadow begged him to reconsider. And while he wouldn't stay on land, he took pity on his shadow and they agreed to meet on once every year on the beach where they parted.
The fisherman went with his mermaid. And the shadow traveled the world.
And each year they would meet, and the shadow would tell the fisherman of all the marvels he had seen. Of all the fantastic and amazing sights, of cities and foreign countries, about hidden caves full of crystals, the stars seen from the top of a mountain or the sunrise over the grassy plains.
Each year the shadow would offer to take the fisherman to all the places he had seen. And each year the fisherman would refuse to follow him. But each year the stories would be more fantastic and with each year the fisherman wanted to see it all himself more.
So, one day he agreed to join his shadow, forgetting the warnings. Or maybe ignoring them.
The moment he stepped on the dry land the shadow took his place at his feet again, returning where he belonged and making a return for the fisherman impossible.
And the fisherman had to realise that he could not just never return to his life in the ocean, but also that the shadow had lied and all those marvels, he had claimed to have seen, never existed.
So, I often wonder... is this adult life really as great as I'm told? Do I really want to be like them? Do I want to join those friends who left me behind for being childish?
Or do I want to stay where I am, maybe being left behind, but in return able to dream and draw and be childish without having to question it?
Almost daily someone stops by to tell me how I make them feel better by drawing and dreaming. I often get told my drawings make horrible days better. And sometimes people with depression even tell me that my gallery helps them through bad days and lifts their spirit enough to be able to carry on.
Each time someone tells me how my drawings make them happy, I have my reply.
So, my thank you to all of you, because you remind me daily what I held important all my life. And for helping me not forgetting it too fast.
Edit: The story is written by Oscar Wilde and is called "The Fisherman ans his Soul", as I was just told.
Had been a while since I read that one, so my thanks for giving me name and writer to mention here.