They say, ‘people never change’. Who are they? Because that is the biggest load of B.S. I have ever heard. Are you the same person you were at age 15? Age 21? If so, yikes… I look back at myself, my character, my decisions and choices, and it’s like looking at someone else entirely. Another being. Not me, not today. And that is a good thing. I’ll think the same thing five years from now at my current self. Because I am a human with a mind, and my mind evolves. Changing is an important part of life, it is evolution on a small scale. I would like to share some of my evolution.
Big change 1: I used to be a conformist in every sense of the word. Because at my core, I am different, I always have been. But like many people, I craved social acceptance. The only way to be socially accepted is to fit the mold of the masses. So, I did that. This molding started in my early teens, as it does for many. I became vain, and selfish, and materialistic, and boring. I hid my ‘nerd’. I hid my true passions. And my reward was popularity. The highest accolade of them all. As I grew, in age and mentality, I saw the value in that. Worthless. Friendships, worthless. Values, worthless. Purpose? Didn’t really have any. Fulfillment? None. As this worthlessness began to outweigh the “benefits” of social acceptance, little by little, pieces of the old Ali came out. These pieces blended with the new, and became something else entirely. I am what I am now. I don’t know how, or want to define what that is, but all I can say is, this Ali is an improvement on the former. Biased opinion of course, there are those who would disagree. Screw them. Yeah, attitude is part of the ‘new Ali’. What do I care if these people around me ‘like’ me? I like me. I think that’s more important. I like books, reading, and writing. I enjoy stimulating conversation that requires critical thinking and analysis, over the dullness of gossip and media driven garbage. I like nature, I like going outside and identifying trees and ferns. I like learning new things, any new things. Now, I surround myself with a small circle of like-minded individuals, rather than a large group of meaningless, irrelevant people. Of course, a part of me still craves social acceptance, but with much less weight. I have found, when surrounded by true, real people, acceptance is less of a black and white scale to be measured on. I have more connection with those around me, more contentment in my day to day, more fulfillment in my head-space, more confidence in my choices, and dare I say, more happiness in my life.
Big change 2: I was married for over seven years, I fully embraced that life. I was a wife. I was supported financially. I worked yes, but I never had to worry about paying bills. I didn’t need to work, and I found some skewed sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in that fact. My income was merely supplementary, and led me to habituate into a certain lifestyle; a lifestyle without any serious concern or stress, monetarily. The reason my relationship ended, and why many relationships end, is because of change. The experiences I had during the seven years I was married had shaped me into something that started to fit less and less into the world I was living. I just couldn’t coexist in the relationship I was in. And for a while, I suffered this un-meshing of self and world, for the same reasons anyone stays in a relationship when they are unhappy. I didn’t want to break his heart, I didn’t want to break my own, I felt guilt and shame and selfishness. Eventually, it came to a head and my decision was made. I admittedly was scared to death, I didn’t know if I could handle what was to come. This change was a shift into another dimension. I have been privileged, I have always been taken care of, and to do it myself, was terrifying. Silver spoon, safety net, comfort zone, gone. Proving a point to someone else is always a bit of a high, a ‘yeah, that’s right’ ‘how dare you doubt me’, but I must say, proving something to myself results in a much higher level of satisfaction. There is no bigger bully, no worse adversary then your own mind. The self-doubt was paralyzing. “I can’t do this” “I am not strong enough” “I am not smart enough” “I will fail, miserably”. But. I proved myself. So screw that mindset. I am a independent, self-sufficient, functioning adult. The fulfillment I gain from my independence, the drive I have for my education and career goals, waking up in the morning and realizing I can do whatever I feel like doing, is cherry. It’s real. It’s my life and I like it.
Trust me, I know, this all sounds extremely pathetic. Congratulations Ali, you now do what everyone else in this society is expected to do, here is your gold medal for achievement. Just another privileged woman thinking she deserves recognition for ‘roughing it’, for the trivial experiences of the masses. I don’t need or want recognition or affirmation, I’m simply sharing my experiences, my choice to leave what is ‘easy’ behind, to pursue what is meaningful. This is relevant to my evolution.
Let’s make this phrase a thing of the past. Everyone changes. Experiences, change, and the ability adapt is detrimental. It molds the mind and thought process into one that can analyze and assess and critically think on a higher level. Those that don’t evolve with the ever-changing environment around them must face natural selection, survival of the fittest. These lowly organisms, these mentally un-evolved individuals will eventually, hopefully, die out.