growth is okay
Growing up is hard. It is genuinely exhausting. You spend so much time adapting to other people, trying to make friends, and experiencing so many things that sometimes who you really are gets lost in the shuffle. I know that I certainly did. For a very long time I was an epic people pleaser. I said what people wanted to hear. I would pretend to know about artists, movies, and other things I didn't know or even like. I wanted friends and I wanted to fit in.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to fit in. We all crave acceptance on some level, but it is also really and totally okay to evolve. I have always been the bubbly, loud, outgoing, and blunt personality. Those are things about me that will probably never change. I am always down for an adventure and I don't shy away from a challenge. When I was younger this used to get me into trouble and I always did wild things. While those are my personality traits, it is okay to keep those traits and evolve them into something else. I am still bubbly, loud, blunt, and outgoing, but I am also kind.
That sounds really bad. It is like I am saying that I haven't always been kind. I have always been someone who had their heart in the right place, but I was known for being a bitch growing up. I still say things people don't want to hear, but I am kind in my delivery. I listen more now than I did before. I try to take criticism better and listen for ways for me to be a better person. I am focused on my development as a person. I still love an adventure, but my adventures are less getting drunk in the woods and more spontaneous road trips and things that fuel my soul. I love a challenge and will rise to any of them, but I prefer the challenge of writing these pieces.
There will be people out there who can't get the old you out of their heads. They will expect something from you that you can no longer give. There will be friends who don't understand why you decide to get healthy, read more, drink less, or even go to bed early and that is perfectly okay. The more you get to know yourself and the more authentic you are to yourself and what you love the more people you will attract into your life who will respect and fit into that. I still have friends from my past who make jokes about things that I have done, or talk about me as if I am still the same person from 5 years ago. I am not even the same person from 6 months ago! It is okay to politely let them know that you cherish those memories they have, but you have moved on from that.
One thing I am VERY big on is telling things from my perspective without pushing someone to do what I do. When I am passionate about something, or feel strongly about a topic, I will talk about how it affected me and why I feel that way. I never tell anyone they HAVE to do this. I suggest giving it a try. I always talk about things that others have done, or suggest other methods as well. I love evolving and learning about new things. I love finding out things about myself I did not know before. I have enjoyed working out lately because I love finding out that my body is capable of more than I thought.
My point here is that it is okay to grow as a person. You do not need anyones permission to start changing. You don't need anyone to tell you that it's okay to stop liking something and start liking something else. You can be the person that hated exercise and always ate fast food, but is now the person that goes to the gym twice a day and eats only gluten free. It is okay to try new things, hate them and try something else, until you find what works for you. Trying and failing is better than never trying at all. If you need permission then this is it. I give you full permission to grow as a person, try something you have always wanted, but were afraid your friends/family would judge you. I give you permission to be exactly who you are.