You Are Not Who You Used To Be (And This Is A Beautiful Thing)

Life is a process. I’m sure you’ve heard that expression before, but have you actually taken a step back to think about what it really means? In life we’re always rushing forward. We’ve been taught to grab, to get, to gain. These aren’t bad things, but they’re not necessarily positive, either.

In a world where everyone’s trying to be their best, trying to be the best, sometimes you have to rush and reach for what you want before it’s gone. But in this continual movement, you must also remember to stop and see what you have, to understand that the crazy list of expectations you made for yourself might never be reached. And that’s okay.

Life is a process. Which means that sometimes you’ll be confident in your path, and sometimes you’ll wander forward without a clue. Sometimes you’ll think we know who someone is, and the next they’ll shift before your eyes. Sometimes you’ll be prepared, and other moments you’ll be shaking in your boots, trying to figure out how the hell to recover after a blow.

Life is a process. Which means whatever stage you’re in right now is perfectly fine. But you don’t have to be permanently stuck there.

When you look at life less as a race to the finish and more of a gradual path into the person you’re meant to be, you’ll take some of the pressure off. You’ll realize that you are forever changing, forever evolving, and the person you were yesterday, last week, or even two years ago might look completely different than the reflection in the bathroom mirror. And this a beautiful thing.

When I was younger, something I always heard was this phrase: “don’t ever change.” My middle school friends wrote it in my yearbook; I found myself quoting it like a cliché line out of a movie.

At thirteen, I didn’t want to change. Life was easy. My boyfriend cared about me. I had a close group of friends. The forehead pimple on my head had finally gone away. I was passing my hardest class. To me, change was this frightening idea looming out in the distance. I didn’t want to grow up, go through breakups, fight with my parents, feel alone. I didn’t want to be anything or anyone other than who I was. And for a long time I let myself be stuck.

But life is a process. You go through things that make you rethink the way you see the world. You lose friendship and find yourself learning to trust all over again. You bicker with the people who love you and you realize what you will stand for and against.

You watch people around you shift, and to your surprise, you find yourself drifting both away and towards new adventures, new people, new experiences.

Life is a process. You’re never going to be standing still. You’re never going to reach the bottom of the self-love list, the to-do list, the ‘desires’ list. But that doesn’t mean you give up, either. You just have to understand that it’s okay to be wherever you are right now—content, scared, confused, happy, sad, angry, messy—let yourself feel those emotions, experience those things. Let yourself be and become whomever feels right, even if that person is hardly recognizable from who you’ve been.

You’re not meant to stay the same—growth is good.

So continue to change, to shift, to question, to think. Push back against the world, against the idea that you’re supposed to be one, static person for the rest of your life. Think things through; jump forward without a thought. Let people in; be selective with your heart. Follow your passions; take the practical road instead. Run full speed; take things at a snail’s pace.

Exist between the lines, the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs,’ the ebb and flow of this life.

Remember that you’re not going to be the same girl or boy, woman or man, creature or creation you’ve always been. You are transitioning. You are becoming. You are beautiful.