It has been a long time since I reflected on this period of my life. I don’t think about it often because, well, it’s in the past but a few days ago, the subject came into my present and I had a familiar feeling of anger when Thales said to me in a conversation about the past, ‘you changed’.
A few years ago I made a lot of conscious changes in my life. I stopped doing a lot of the things i had always done and started doing new things. In that way, i guess the statement ‘You’ve changed’ is partly true.
I never really understood why I felt annoyed and upset when people who saw me said that I had changed.
I always felt that a more appropriate term would be ‘You have made some changes’
That would have been true of the time.
Yes, I went from having long blonde flowing hair to dreadlocks.
Yes, I went from going out drinking to staying in drawing.
Yes, I went from smoking weed to meditating.
Yes, I went from loving chicken wings to vegetarian.
Yes, I went from hating exercise to practicing yoga everyday.
True, changes had been made but I had not changed. And for people to tell me I had, made me upset in my heart.
Those changes that everyone around me seemed to care so much about were so menial. So superficial.
I couldn’t understand why those surface level things changing had people’s attention, why it had people so worried.
I realize now why that was, it was because I had been brave and let go of a lot of things in my life that were not serving me. I had moved through years of bad thoughts and patterns, I had smashed down all of my walls and stepped out of my story and into myself.
I had decided to show up for myself and BE myself.
And all I got from the people I love, and where supposed to love me…
It hurt me deeply because, I never thought I had changed, I had simply let go of people’s expectations of what I should be or who I was.
I had just become more of myself.
I just expressed more of myself. I lived by my own rules, my own values and beliefs.
The fact that this was so strange for the people in my life was eye-opening in itself.
I came to realize that the people who were struggling with me and the apparent ‘change’ in me, in truth, never really knew me.
Because I didn’t change at all. I was always this girl.
Admittedly she was shielded beneath protective layers and was not readily available for everybody.
But it wasn’t the everybodies that bothered me.
It was my people, the people I care about and were supposed to care about me.
The ones who claimed to love me and were supposed to know me.
That hurt. That was another process of acceptance.
Letting them go.
So recently, when Thales said those words that had previously brought up an uncomfortable feeling in me, I was about to react on that feeling but I knew the words came from a different place.
So as I listened to him explain his experience of me in that time, the ‘change’ wasn’t so much a change in me, but a change in how he had to be with me.
He had met me with my walls and my protective layers and many different faces.
He had been the only one that could see through all of that and into me.
Thales began crashing down the walls that I had already begun shaking.
He quickened the process of me finding me.
Ultimately it took me alone going all the way down to pull myself back up and when I did he was there.
He has held my hand as I have cried through the storms inside of me and pulled me up once I am through.
He has been there through the whole thing and he has loved me all the way.
Previously he had learned ways in which to bring me out of my protective layer. He had known what to say and what to do to make me comfortable being me. He had ways of being with me that made me more me. But then, he didn’t need those ways anymore.
I was already there, no probing or dragging out necessary.
It was not that I had changed, I was me.
The change was more of an adjustment on his part, he had to change his way of being with me, the me that he had fallen in love with.
That, for me, is a completely reasonable and admirable explanation of his experience of being with me in this time and the time after.
There are a few people in my life who were there before this ‘change’. Some of them are still here, most of them are gone.
The ones who remain have in there own ways, shown me that they have this understanding.
That the box they had me in altered, that they had to change what they expected of me.
They had to change what they felt about me and what i was for them and how i fit into their lives now.
Some people are still adjusting, some never will.
I am grateful for the changes, for the development and expansion.
But I am me, same girl I always have been, and that’s not going to change.