The Circle of My Life: Change!
Thanksgiving dinner was a success. I helped clean, make the desserts, and clean some more. It was refreshing to have my immediate family all in one room, as we are always running around busy with our own lives. Sigh, adulthood.
We had the very same conversations that most families and friends know not to have at the dinner table; politics, religion and other nonsensical hoopla, but with a 2011 upgrade. We each held our own when shouting our opinions on Occupy Wallstreet, stock market failures, the wars, evolution and Bible blabber. The annual drunken dinner discussions had thankfully died down, and we all began to reminisce about the good old days; childhood, accompanied by a ton of laughing and misty eyes.
As usual, my annoying brain started to over-think it all. I was trying to push it out; attempting to channel some childhood superhero power that I would just then discover of myself, in the midst of passing the gravy, to use for the greater good in combating deep thoughts from corroding a Thanksgiving conversation of innocence and laughter. You might have guessed that I was unsuccessful at any such thought-blocking mind power.
Damnit. So here I am, incorporating separate pieces of what each family member had to say, somehow leaving me to analyze my evolution. I was taking far-fetched theories on monkeys, Adam and Eve and extraterrestrials, theories I only believe in half-heartedly, and forcibly shoved them into the puzzle of my life as if those missing pieces needed something so complex and unrealistic.
My thoughts were interrupted time and time again by high-pitched laughter and the clinking of utensils ravishing the Turkey Day goods. I realized that my mind and I would have to discuss this after company left, and when they did I grabbed the bottle of a new type of bubbly red wine and retreated into my bedroom to write my qualms down onto paper; so to remember it all as if I were not completely out of mind, or too wasted, when I had originally thought this all up.
I have changed so much. Why? How?
I put down the vino for approximately 32 seconds, switched on ‘simple mind mode’ and accused out loud, “That is just part of life! It is part of getting old.”
::Picks wine back up, switches crazy lady thinking mode back on::
But… what has made me change? Dig deeper, Sarah. Surely, time enough does not just change people. If I sat in a room for the next five years of young adulthood with the same friends, same iPod playlist and no outside societal life, how would I change? I would not change. Ah, so exposure to the elements was the answer.
Of the strongest of life’s non-physical elements, relationships holds the reins. Relationships change us. Our identity is based solely by exposure to other people. I feel it is as simple and as complicated as that. We could blame parenting for our delinquency and misbehaving, headache-inducing actions 10 years ago, but I, for one, can say that my parents did just fine raising me. Why do we always blame the parents? Kids are going to do what they want to do, regardless of curfews and the amount of times a parent takes away television for 3 weeks. This is when you start to take on change head on. Who would want to stop that? Unless we are dabbling in heroin and group sex. We run through phases and pierce our noses, streak some purple in our hair and listen to ‘scream-o’ bands in retaliation for eating vegetables at dinner; it worked for Kristen and Abby, the punk rock princesses who showed you the [black] light. Thank Kelly and Lisa for showing you how to do the S-U-C-C-E-S-S cheer which led to your position at the top of the pyramid for four years, Joey Jr. for teaching you how to punt which, down the road, got you that football scholarship, and those older kids behind the bleacher who showed you how to inhale a cigarette (and eventually, some weed) which you still care to indulge in from time to time.
But when you are no longer bound by the rules of your parents, you are taking a bigger risk of exposure to the elements; to nice people and crazy people alike. We fall in and out of relationships, and putting all cynicism aside, the majority of those relationships will probably not work out for whatever reason. People move away, find significant others who take up their time, become engulfed with their careers, or maybe they prove to be unfit for your life. But still, if we spend any considerable amount of time with particular people, we open ourselves to their influence.
We go through college, find real jobs, and meet those who are older and compelling. We travel around to new areas of the country, maybe even come home with newly established tastes for people. We know what we find attractive qualities in others; friends or lovers. We dress according to our interests, we act according to our new-found beliefs on betterment and happiness. Years go by, and some of these characteristics of ourselves stay, some are altered, most gone for good in exchange for different ones.
At what point do we even realize that we are an ongoing metamorphosis? Clothing, appearance, music tastes, attitudes, what we like to do for fun; when do those who are solid staples in our lives realize the change? It is a slow turning wheel.
Maybe there has been one person that has impacted our lives so drastically then left, that we do not want to let it all go. Should we care if those from our past see this and think we are trying too hard, or clinging to something that is not there? Maybe, upon all of the faults in a relationship, we found something positive to take from it; something that we would have never thought to be a part of us.
So when I sat on my bed and realized I was listening to new funky music and remembered my plans for the next couple of months, my past plans of the week, I was shocked. I am changing and it is noticeable. I am an unfinished evolution. We all are. I realized in that moment that I have been a better person in the past month. I have been happier and nicer to people. I have always had a bit of an attitude, but lately I have only given attitude to people who cut me in line (it happened). But… that is all!
Put aside all the technicalities of what evolution is and look at your life. There is a pattern of change that creeps up every so often. A lot of times we are judged by it or we give it up like a good habit. Embrace the change that you are recognizing in yourself.
I am becoming someone I really like, and I am totally aware of it. Thank you, recent and unavoidable life situations!
If I want to go to a show by a band that one year ago I hated, who are you to judge me? If we are participating in activities that motivate us to be a better person, what does it matter if I just started? If you feel people are staring and asking questions about your new appreciation for all things different and previously ‘not you’, try asking yourself what needs to be changed within themselves. Perhaps they are unhappy or jealous, bitter and cold. Let them be and continue to work on yourself. Speaking from experience, I can say that letting go of your inhibitions, forgetting what people think negatively about you and continuing to foster whatever makes you smile is the only way to grow and change into a stronger person. These are the years of your life where the foundation of your structure can be made with re-workable clay. Mold your life how you see fit. You are in charge!