You’ve changed. I can hear people saying that about me right now, and I am pretty sure some of those closest to me don’t like the changes I’ve been making in my life. Change happens to each of us. It’s what we do with that change that determines the course of the rest of our life. Yes, I’ve changed, and I am still evolving. I am always changing and growing and changing. If I don’t allow myself to change for fear of what friends, family, or even acquaintances think, then I am not true to myself.
You’ve changed. When people finally say this to our face, they are usually saying in a tone that shows that they don’t like how we have changed. They are generally making this statement to explain why they aren’t happy with us right now, why they disagree with who we are becoming. You know what?! Who cares!
If someone is pointing out that you’ve changed, but not telling you how proud they are of you for leaning into who you are, then they are telling you that you’ve changed out of selfish reasons. We are not always going to be for everybody, even those we’ve held close in our lives for years. It is painful to go through this growth but to be who we want to be, and we must do it.
I am changing. I am growing away from people I love dearly as I become the woman I want to be. I’ve gone through this change multiple times before. There are always people that I leave behind. I know people who go through the same change in their life who have left me behind. It hurts, but if we aren’t growing in the same direction, we must part ways.
You’ve changed. Why yes, yes I have, and I am proud of the woman I am becoming. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m honoring myself over other people. I feel like I’m respecting my dreams over the feelings and emotions of others. I feel like I am starting to put myself first.
You are selfish, and now you act like you are better than others. No, no, I am not. If you Google the definition of selfish, you will see it defined as lacking consideration for others, concerned chiefly with one’s profit or pleasure. I most definitely still consider others, but I must live my life to be happy and healthy first. I must respect myself before I respect anybody else. I know that most of society deems that selfish because they only see how this kind of self-respect leaves people behind. Notice I said, “leaves people behind.” I didn’t say “harms others.” Showing ourselves self-respect does not mean that we lack consideration of others. It means we are doing what is best for our life. If we lack consideration of others, we will go off on every little thing others do that offends or blocks our way in life. We would make other people’s lives more difficult to live. Self-respect does not do that.
As for “being better than others,” no, no, I am not. I am better than who I was yesterday for who I want to be tomorrow. I am better than no one. We each have our journey in life to live, and I will not tell you that because I am changing into the woman that I want to become, that I am better than you. We are different people and have different goals and dreams in life. Not one of us has a better dream or goal than the other.
When we start to change away from the people we’ve been close to, we pay less attention to them and we pay more attention to our future. We might have given our all to be of service to certain people in the past, and now our all is going towards a different focus. It may feel like we are abandoning some people even though we are not.
You’ve changed. Yes, yes, I have, and yes, I am going to continue changing. I am sorry that you feel as though I’ve changed too much for you, but I probably have. If you are not changing in the same direction that I am, we must part ways. Change happens. Growth happens. We are always evolving and growing and going in different directions. It is rare that relationships last as long as they do if the people in those relationships grow in entirely different directions.
As Maya Angelou said, “Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
Yes, I have changed. I am stepping into a brand new path that is taking me in a different direction. I am no longer remaining in a situation that does not feel right for my future. If we cannot accept change, we will stay stagnant. I do not want to remain stagnant. I want to grow and succeed in becoming the woman I dream of being. I want to use my ambition and grow into her. I can no longer stay because I am afraid of losing others, for I will lose myself if I do.
You’ve changed. Yes, I have, and I am going to continue changing and growing every single day. I may choose a new path each day, or I may create a new direction. Either way, change is happening, and I am embracing it with all that I am.