“You’ve Changed”

Is typically a phrase I hear from people I haven’t seen in years.

Do people really change? I used to believe that at the core, people just don’t change, and I was tired of people telling me that they would. But looking at myself and how far I’ve come, claiming that people don’t change would be hypocritical of me.

At the core, I believe that I am the same- I still hold the same values and have the same friendly and bubbly persona. These things are ingrained into me and will be constant, just as surely as the sun rises and sets everyday. But so much has happened in the last few years; all the highs and lows have continually shaped me into the person I am and the person I aspire to be. Things that I never thought would happen in my wildest dreams have come to fruition.

I have noticed that I am different. In the way I carry myself, in the way I interact with others. I am more confident, not afraid to make use of and showcase my abilities and talents (rather than covering them up like I used to), and no longer afraid to laugh at myself. I try really hard every day to find the perfect balance between taking the high road and not letting people walk all over me, knowing when to speak up and stand up for myself. Do not mistake this for arrogance- I am still a nice person at heart. But being confident and being nice are not mutually exclusive. I am a firm believer in treating people with respect and being aware of other people’s sensitivities.

I have pushed myself further than I could have imagined going into university. Sometimes you don’t realize that you are capable of so much until you are right in the thick of it, and you realize that you are doing just that, and that this is your life, right here and right now. A small amount of ambition can propel you further than you can fathom. I try to imagine what my younger self would think of me right now, and I think she would be proud to see that I am chasing my dreams and show no signs of stopping.

“You’ve changed.”

But is that really a bad thing? Did you expect me to remain static all these years? We as humans are continuously evolving creatures. The world is not static, so why would we be?

So much is about to change in the next few years. I am afraid, but I am so excited. As 2013 comes to a close and I start reflecting on not only the past year, but my journey over the last few years, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the wonderful opportunities I’ve had the privilege of experiencing, conflicting with a sense of nostalgia because I know nothing will ever really be the same again. I am so excited for what 2014 and the next few years have in store for me.

“Really? How so?”

“No, it’s a good kind of change. You’re more confident and mature, and I’m proud of you.”

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