Looking to make change can be a bit scary. What if the new thing is not in fact better? What will the others think? Will I lose respect? Will they (still) be proud of me? They were so happy when I got XYZ, what if I now want something else?
Meeting people after an absence can be a challenging time for that (as I’m updating this blog post, we are all working on who gets to see whom when and how in the UK as things slowly start reopening in spring 2021). A lot has changed, in many ways, and we are often not in the loop with what changed. We might also need to catch up with ourselves in this emerging new life, if we’re honest.
If you are looking to make changes in your life, conversations can feel like minefields. We are adults (I assume). And yet, on some level, we want others to like us, to respect us, to understand us and to support us in our being-in-becoming.
Your parents might not understand what you are looking to do next, or why you are unhappy and unfulfilled; and they might not need to. What is or was right for them might not be right for you. They might be supportive and just want you to be happy. If that is the case, you are truly blessed. A lot of people are not that lucky, and have to face more resistance our outright attack in their personal surroundings. Especially when the current gig is going so well on the outside. And all the “but I thought you wanted to be a xxx”, “but all the money you invested in setting yourself up as…”, but but but. And every one of these another thing you feel you have to carry on top of everything else.
Your life is yours, and you want to fill it with things that have meaning for you. This is what we came here for. Yes, this involves other people and adult responsibilities etc. But people evolve, priorities shift and things are not static, so it is OK for things to shift and for you to want your outer life to catch up with the changes you are hatching out in your heart.
Where I grew up in Germany people would always wish “stay just the way you are” on somebody’s birthday. To my growing (slightly antagonistic ambitious teenage) self this always sounded like a curse more than a blessing. Growth and development never stops, and it is never too late to have a more fulfilled life that is in line with your values, aspirations, purpose. Being able to articulate clearly what is important to you, what might have shifted and what you are going to do about it makes it a lot easier to rope others into your journey. Even that one person whose opinion you are dreading. They might find it scary (it might remind them of their dreams long-buried and they might resent you for giving it a go – that is their story, you live yours). Or they might find it inspiring. And if they don’t, your little niece might once she is old enough to understand.
(Original post from early 2018, updated spring 2021)