Have you ever felt yourself changing? Maybe you’re going through a transitional point in your life or you’re just realizing more about yourself, but you can feel yourself morphing into a new person (er, not new… different) – you’re growing into current or new traits while shedding old ones. Think about major things that have happened in your life such as starting college, getting married, or having kids – things that force you to grow. Was there ever a point where you stopped and thought about how much you’ve changed in the past year? Maybe you realized how whatever traits or qualities you felt strong in actually needed a lot of work. Or, maybe you came to the conclusion that the way you used to do things could no longer coincide with the way things need to be done now. Whatever season of life you were in, you came to the realization that something had to change, only instead of it being a conscious decision, it just kind of happened.
I feel like I’m at that point in my life. I’m about six months into my college career and living away from home, and there are times where I’ll stop and think, “shoot… I have definitely changed.” I never really think about it in a bad way – I haven’t become some completely different person my friends or family back home wouldn’t recognize. But if I went back and time and met myself a year ago or even six months ago, there would definitely be some things that I would noticed have changed, and some pretty drastically. Yesterday I switched roommates, so I’m now rooming with one of my best friends on campus. It took me about three hours to move from my old room to the one I’m in now (which is literally two doors down the hall), but if anybody has moved before, big or small, you know the stress that can come with it. In the process of moving, there were a handful of things that my friend and I disagreed on. It was always small things like how to hang up the lights or where to put things, but there was definitely disagreement. This was bound to happen even though we had planned everything out for the weeks leading up to the move. However, the hard part wasn’t the disagreeing, it was how to resolve the disagreement(s). I love my friend very dearly, but we both react to situations a lot differently… like, a lot. Everything worked out fine and our room is all set up, but after it all happened I was a little bit shocked – not because I handled things poorly or because anything went wrong, but just because for whatever reason, I had a weird realization of how much I had really changed.
It’s a weird feeling. I guess nothing major has to happen for you to realize it and it doesn’t even have to be a bad realization, but as soon as you do realize how much you really have changed, it’s weird. That’s the only way I can describe it – weird. It’s typical for people to sit around on New Years or birthdays or some significant time in the year and talk about how much things have changed, but there’s a difference between talking about it and really feeling it. It almost throws you off balance because it seems like as soon as you have figured out who you are (whatever that means), you change. And I know we’re always changing and yadda yadda yadda, but like I said, it’s different to talk about it happening than it is to feel it as it’s happening/after it’s happened.
People talk about change being painful or how growth is uncomfortable, but nobody talks about the realization of the growth that has happened. Take growth spurts, for example: you get pains in your legs as they grow and you go through a period of uncomfortable awkwardness as you get used to your body, but it isn’t until after all that has happened that you go to a Christmas family gathering and everyone tells you how much you’ve grown or how big you are. You remember the pain, but you don’t really remember the growing – one day you just kind of realize that, yep, you’re bigger than you used to be. And it’s only weird because you can’t really remember being smaller, so you’re just kind of wondering how you got to this point. Change is like that, it happens and we know it happens because it’s inevitable, but the realization that comes after it’s happened sneaks up on us. I think I’m going through a growth spurt… kind of? It’s weird.