Can People Change?

Childhood friends are some of the best people in the world. You get to share a ton of memories from way back when there were no cell phones or selfies and your main responsibilities were to play outside all day long. You also get to create new memories as you grow up and together you get to celebrate milestones in your lives. But here’s why I think childhood friendships can sometimes need to hit the refresh button…

When you make new friends, they get to know you and like you for who you are at that moment in time. You often have the same interests because chances are, one of those interests is probably how you met in the first place. Maybe it was at the gym, your kid’s school, mutual friends, work, etc. You’ve got material to bond over such as work place gossip, fitness, recipes, you know, all the stuff we care much more about as we get older.  Naturally, old friends often grow apart as they grow up and evolve to have different interests than one another. What you’re left with are a whole bunch of memories from when you were kids. Times were more simple and everything was fun, right? Wrong.

You’re not the same person you were when you were young. Well, at least I know I’m not. I was a bossy kid. I was the hands on my hips, giving out orders, “we’re going to play what I want to play” kind of kid. Was I nice and still a good friend? Sure. But sometimes I feel like people who were close to me when I was that girl, only remember that girl. That the memories they think of are when I was bossing them around, not the ones when I was standing up for them, and the times when I always had to go first and got my way, not the times I did something good or nights when we laughed until we cried. Like their lens is focused on the wrong parts.

With age comes wisdom right? I’ve worked so hard over the last decade to become a person I like and a person I’m proud to be. I’m a good friend. I care about others deeply. I love. I sympathize. I empathize. I serve others. I trust others. I believe in others. I hope. And I never stop working on me. So can people really change? Yes. I know I have. The problem is that no matter how much we change, sometimes others still see us as the person we were before. We’re all probably guilty of not really liking someone because we know how they used to be. Maybe we need to take a look at how they are now.

So live a life that you’re proud of and do it for you. No matter what it is, do it because it makes YOU happy. Be the person that makes you happy and forget the haters! We all know, haters gon’ hate anyway, right? Remember…a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms. Bloom away my friends!

Change

WAMbuildthelife

Change can happen over time without even realizing it’s happening. It’s like when your hair and nails grow. All of a sudden you just notice them and can’t believe how long they’ve gotten.

When I stop and think about how I’ve changed in the last ten years, I feel like I’m a completely different person. I think it’s exciting to be a different person. What I feel is a better person. Still the same Lauren, just a new version. Over the last ten years or so, it’s as if I had a slow software update and some of the bugs got fixed.

I used to talk a lot and listen a little. Now I am often one of the quiet people in the group. I prefer to just hang back and listen to what others say.

I used to be a taker. A “what’s in it for me?” and “who’s going to buy it for me?” kind of a thing. Now, I try to be a giver. What can I do for you? What will brighten your day?

I used to avoid wearing shorts. I know it sounds silly, but for years I felt like they just wouldn’t look good on me. One day I tried them on and couldn’t believe how great they were. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t wear shorts in Arizona should have an intervention.  Now, the thought of having to wear pants makes me cringe.

I used to be a night owl who absolutely loved to drive around when the moon was out and everyone else was in bed. The thought of an open road late at night was a beautiful thing. Now, I’m too tired and honestly, my eyes just don’t see as well when I drive at night. Yes, I’m only thirty, even though this sentence make me sound like I’m eligible for the senior discount.

I never thought I would ever want to be a stay at home mom. Teaching was my profession, my calling,  and the only thing I had ever wanted to do since before I could remember. If I had babies, I would return to work. That’s just how I always assumed it would go. Until I held my first little boy in my arms and I suddenly knew there was no where I wanted to be but with him. Then, double that feeling when little mister number two came along.

One of the most important ways that I’ve changed is that I realized I needed to change. I realized that I could be a better person. I realized that when I made changes to the person I was, it made me a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.

Turning thirty is hard for some people. For me, it was as if the lens on my life clicked into focus. I feel more confident, more free, and simply more ME.

Embrace every day. Try to make the changes you want to see in yourself. Remember that it’s OK to cry for both the happy times and the sad ones, in front of people and alone. Life can be so short, let’s hug more and criticize less. Be proud of yourself and happy for others. Everyone makes mistakes. Never sell yourself short. And in the words of Nike…just do it.

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”      -Unknown