For a long time, I would get upset when I felt that the people closest to me were changing. I remember when I was in high school, and even in the early part of my 20s, I would often hear girls whispering “she’s changed” about another. It was meant to shift the blame and responsibility for a relationship’s demise onto someone else. By simply stating that someone had changed, it was understood that things would no longer work out. Friendships were divided. Relationships were broken.
But today, I wonder, why was the idea of “change” so bad? We all change. We evolve. We grow up. We go through ups, and we go through downs. We overcome challenges and achieve things we never thought possible. We live. We experience.
Most recently, a very old friend of mine moved to Barcelona. Ahhhh the dream! My friendship with this beautiful soul is a perfect example of this change. I have memories dating back to the early 90s, dancing up a storm with her in my living room and putting on theatrical shows for our parents. We literally grew up together, and one day, shared a nice little apartment by the Rideau canal. It was supposed to be the best days of our lives, and it was… until we changed. Days became months, and months became years (about two to be exact) before we spoke to each other again.
Now this post isn’t about what was. Or what could have been. It is about what it is today. Today, she is someone I am incredibly proud of. We have had our number of differences over the years. We speak infrequently at best and are living entirely different lives oceans away. But, we are both living out our respective dreams. Our paths have taken different directions, our lives no longer intersect in the way they did but our memories will forever connect us. For a long time, I mourned the end of this friendship and found it hard to accept. l experienced a departure in my life, and instead of coping, I blamed it on change.
So of course, we are changing and to expect otherwise of a person isn’t realistic. What I’ve learned in the last few years is to simply accept these changes and to embrace them. While I was busy being an adult–building my professional career, getting married, becoming pregnant and eventually a mother–so were my friends, family and partner. It sounds simplistic to say, but to actually make acceptance your world view and apply it is harder than it seems.
I’m not sure when or what made it all finally click. Maybe it was all those yoga classes that cleared my mind, heart and soul. Or maybe it was deciding to leave a job I was comfortable in but didn’t enjoy. Or maybe, my struggles with pregnancy and becoming a mother have humbled me to a state of pure empathy.
I’m not sure, but I accept.