People Change

People don’t change, their circumstances do.

Someone in my life recently said this to me. It’s not the first time I’ve heard something like this, but it’s the first time I’ve had a visceral reaction to the idea that people don’t change. Why do we say things like this? Why do we admit that change is the only constant, but refuse to believe that people can’t change? Everything changes except the most complicated organism on the planet?

I don’t know about other people, but I have changed. I am different now than I was ten years ago, than I was five years ago. Sometimes change is slow, imperceptible even. And then, one day, you wake up and the person you see in the mirror is so different you hardly recognize you. That is where I am at right now.

Ten years ago, I would have described myself in the following way:

Outgoing
Loud
Always ready to lead
An organizer
Very friendly
Comfortable with chaos
Confident
High-achieving
Confrontational
Conflicted

Now, I would describe myself in the following way:

Quiet
Willing to sit back and let others lead
Anxious/Nervous
Enjoy being a wallflower
Introverted

Who I used to be is not completely erased. There are still moments when I feel the urge to speak up, lead the way, take charge. But most days, I am not who I imagined I’d be, not who I once was. And I am glad. I am a happier, more peaceful person. If you are dissatisfied with who you are and you want to change, I know you can.I am a person, and I have changed.