We Change More Than We Realize
This is a scene from the movie Bridesmaids
Helen:… It’s funny how people change, isn’t it?
Annie: I don’t know, do people really change?
Helen: I think they do.
Annie: But they still stay who they are, pretty much.
Helen: I think we change all the time.
Annie: I think we stay the same, but grow a little bit.
Helen: I think if you’re growing, then you’re changing.
Annie: But we’re changing from who we are, which we always stay as.
Helen: Not really, I don’t think so.
Many of us look back on our early 20s as a time of huge growth and change. Most of us are leaving home and heading off on our own.
We finally have the chance to break free from the rules of our parents, and discover the big, open world. It’s an amazing time where we learn about who we are, our likes and dislikes, and what it means to be in a relationship.
Many people look back on this time and know they changed a lot. But as we get older, people seem to think they change less and less. Or at least not as much as they did in their early 20s.
But the reality is we’re always changing, in very real ways.
Don’t think you’ve changed in your 30s or 40s? As we enter the new decade, it’s worth taking a look at yourself now versus who you were in 2010.
We don’t even have the same taste in music year to year, so undoubtedly, there’s been a lot of change in you over the last decade.
Whether it’s things around your faith, feelings about diversity and belonging, your politics, attitude towards equality for all, or a big lifestyle change you’ve made in your fitness or diet, chances are, you’re markedly different now
Here’s how I’ve changed in the last decade:
Me in 2010
- I was embarrassed to sing in public or show PDA
- I thought the art of manliness required real men not to cry
- I didn’t go to therapy because I thought going to therapy was only for weaklings
- The men in my family don’t talk about their feelings, and I thought it was a cycle that couldn’t be broken
- I never said, “I love you,” to the people in my life I care most about
- I practiced my Christian faith by focusing on a few things (no sex before marriage, no swearing, going to church on Sundays) and judging others that didn’t do the same
- I was convinced that to lead in my family (I have 7 siblings) I had to be perfect, or at least give the impression that I was perfect
- I sing in public all the time, and my wife knows that even in public, she’s still getting all the kisses
- I cry all the time. I cry when I watch a good movie. I cry when the sunrise is especially magical. I cry when I have tough conversations with my wife
- I’ve been going to therapy every week for nearly two years now. Taking care of your mental health and going to therapy is a sign of strength
- To break a cycle, you have to be vulnerable, and courageous, and take the lead. And that’s what I’ve done in my family
- I say, “I love you,” to my family, and friends, and people I care about all the time
- My Christian faith isn’t based on following rules, but on loving others: “For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love” — 1 Corinthians 13:13
- Leading in my family doesn’t mean I have to be perfect. It means showing my full, true self. This makes me more relatable, and a better leader for my siblings
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve undergone in the last 10 years? You’ll probably surprise yourself.
Andrew lives and works in San Francisco. He writes about mental health, relationships, and finances. You can usually find him running or biking, getting humbled in yoga class, or cooking with his apron on.