I Saw A Picture Of His New Life

An ex-boyfriend of mine moved into a new apartment last night. Or maybe a house. I’m not sure from the photograph of a table. But it was a beautiful table. Decorated with wine and food and fancy plates and a centerpiece that only a girlfriend, or sister, or mother would place there.

I’m not sure why, but that photograph gave me the funniest feeling. I kept tossing it around my mind all morning. Thinking. Wondering.

It’s strange how people change, how they grow up, how they continue their lives without you.

Sometimes I forget that the world is moving for the people I no longer see every single day. I imagine them as they were when I knew them, still and unchanged.

But they’re not. They move forward, they become better men, they move into new houses with decorated furniture and good friends.

They are no longer the people I knew, and loved.

Or are they?

I’m always caught wondering, shifting between the belief that all things change and all things stay the same. Is it true that we never really change who we are? We adapt and mold and sometimes shift as we grow—but we’re always inherently the person we’ve always been? Or do we change? Do we grow? Do we become the kind of people that eat on fancy china and live in nice apartments and never look back at how we used to be?

I would always have that argument with him, this ex with the fancy table. He used to argue that people can’t change, that who you are is who you are, take it or leave it. But I never believed that. I was convinced that people evolve, that people shape to what’s around them—the situations and people. That love makes people change.

Now I’m looking at a photograph of a fancy table set for two, but I’m not the one at the other end.

And as hard as I stare at that photograph, I can’t seem to find the answers to the questions I’m asking in my head. Who are you? Who have you become?

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