**Note from author: This third part of Live, Thrive, & Be Vulnerable is all about change. I reflect mostly upon the importance of how change is in order to grow as an individual, how it can seem scary, and also the impact it plays in relations with others. Each week I will continue to switch up topics and keep it as personal/real as possible.
By- Traci Taylor
Live, Thrive, & Be Vulnerable series
The world is constantly evolving, so why is the thought of change so terrifying? I still can’t figure out why it took me so long to finally accept that change is necessary and it doesn’t always have to be viewed as negative. In order to grow as an individual, some sort of change must occur. I still think my fear is partially due to the fact I lived in the same house for twenty-two years. Yes I went away to college, but in the back of my mind I knew that the familiarity of home was still nearby.
Change impacts every single aspect of life starting from birth: friendships, love interests, hobbies, ambitions, food palate, etc. Nothing is exactly the same as you pictured it since childhood. Which is great, because could you imagine a world filled with only WNBA superstars who are also professional bakers? (Or maybe that was just my dream). The point is without change, there cannot be growth to the potential that is meant to be fulfilled.
Friendships are one thing in life that can remain constant, or change constantly. Not everyone has the same friends they had in high school, and then some people have friends they’ve known since grade school. Either way, if those friends are still supportive and put a smile on your face it does not really matter how long you have known them. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in believing the length of the friendship is more important than the quality of the friend.
To me, the best kind of friend is one that it doesn’t matter how frequently you see them, but the second you two speak, you pick up right where things were left off. I have quite a few friends like that, and they know how grateful I am to have them in my life for as long as I have.
An important lesson I have learned about friendships over the years is they change, just like everything else in life. It doesn’t matter when the friendship blossomed but the fact that it did, and it still remains to exist. Individuals grow, and sometimes that causes friendships to differ from when they began. It is a part of life, and what is important to remember is to cherish things for what they were. Learning to let go is perhaps one of the hardest things about change, but it is also the most important.
I remember when I was younger, and still very much in the closet, I had a boyfriend for a few years who I was convinced at the time I would be with forever. Looking back it is quite comical, but then at age fourteen I didn’t realize how much change would truly be occurring in the years to come.
Unless you are a part of a rare few that marry their high school sweetheart, love interests change rather frequently, but most of the time for the better. Each person we are with seems perfect at the time, but unless they grow with you, they are just another chapter in your life. The heartbreaks that occur force us to grow as individuals, and learn.
Often people long for stability in life and fear losing things or others they once cared deeply for. It takes time to be aware that the changes that occurred were more than likely for the best. As tough as it may seem, growing and evolving are vital to happiness. In order to learn how to ride a bicycle you must take off the training wheels, and metaphorically ride through life on your own.
One thing to remember is to not get stuck. There are ways to not be miserable in life and that is by taking control. I think sometimes it is easy to forget that it is perfectly fine to be afraid of taking risks. At times it is scary to imagine all of the change and for life to be any different than the way it is in this exact moment. Do not be afraid of the in between that is the change, because if it is working towards the positive path it will always be worth it. Losing something or someone is never a permanent sadness once you discovery that change is inevitable.
To be aware that everything happens for a reason, and that change is what keeps things going really makes the universe seem more beautiful than before. Each day that passes is another lesson learned in life. If I never evolved into the person I am I would still be that nine year old closeted girl, dreaming to be Sheryl Swoopes, and baking pies while driving a bright blue convertible living in Los Angeles (Yes that dream existed for quite some time). I’m grateful to still be a dreamer, but thankful that I am a little more grounded and fabulously gay compared to my younger self.
Dealing with change will always be hard. It only gets easier when you take a step back to look at the bigger picture to realize each change made was in effort to start living a euphoric life.