Losing your innocence is just a side effect of growing up. There’s no one certain thing that causes it. It doesn’t automatically go away when you turn 13 or when you lose your virginity or when you get dumped for the first time. It all varies from person to person, from age to age, from experience to experience. And it fades out slowly.
When I was around 11 years old I asked my mom why everyone had cancer all of a sudden. She told me cancer has always been around, I was just realizing it now.
That’s a very specific moment when I can remember something changing inside of my brain.
Looking back now, can you really pinpoint the moment you stopped being naive and started getting real? Probably not. You have to reach the point in your life when you look back and realize you’ve changed. Because change isn’t something you see until you’re so different you don’t recognize yourself anymore. Your old memories barely belong to you.
I’m not the girl that was kissed on the forehead on my front porch. Nor am I the girl who loved someone very intensely for more than three years. I’m not the girl who became heartless and cold towards the people who tried to love her in order to regain strength. I lost bits and pieces of innocence with each of those experiences and the experiences in between.
It’s not bad to change, it’s not bad to grow and recognize what real life is now. But hold on to the little pieces of innocence you have tucked away in your subconscious. They’re what keep you sane, what keep you looking at some things with rose colored glasses, they’re what keep you warm when things are unbearably cold.
You might have lost most of your innocence, but you’re still yourself. Just different.