The saying, “People don’t change, situations do” is one that’s been rolling around my head for years now. I used to diligently collect quotations, starting some time around freshman year of high school, and I presume this was one I picked up from one of the lame, “inspirational” quotations pages I used to frequent.
For whatever reason that quote stuck in my brain…I think it may have had to do with the matter-of-factness of it. “This-is-a-fact-!”…and it was short. I remember identifying with it during my first year of high school, while I longed to be back in the eighth grade with familiar surroundings and the friends I loved best. I remember that quote scaring me. It is an “as opposed to…” kind of statement. Like, “as opposed to people just suddenly changing, they change as a RESULT of...” (Duh, I know)
I guess the part that bugged me most was just the change in general…whether I liked it or not, SOMETHING was going to change. I was to expect that if the people in my life didn’t immediately change; the situations would, thus ultimately changing all of us. (For an over-emotional, over-nostalgic 15 year old, this made me very, very sad.)
It is now eight years later and I find that this little saying still gnaws at me from time to time. I am post-college now and it’s a scary thing. I don’t know what I expected to be feeling right now, but it certainly wasn’t this. I don’t think I expected to feel so conflicted about what I’m exactly supposed to do with my life. Suddenly I find that I am identifying with my 15 year old self in an all too familiar way. No, I don’t want to be back at school and no, I no longer frequent lame, “inspirational” quotations pages (nor do I sport blue eye shadow) and in fact, I don’t want to be back anywhere, but the growing pains feel oh so familiar.
My situation is changing…has changed, and not since 1999 has a progression been so bittersweet. I am losing certainty, losing touch with people I don’t want to lose touch with, and watching once solid relationships get tested by, well, the change in situations.
Where to, buckaroo?
The friends I’d loved best when I was 15 are now people I have “remember when” conversations with when I run into them at north side bars every two years…and what’s familiar to me now bears little resemblance to the cozy halls of St. Raymond School…and hello! That’s definitely a normal/good thing!
I should probably surrender to this time in my life as one of self-insight and growth (albeit painful). This is just about the most normal kind of transitional thing young adults go through, right? I mean, have you SEEN The Graduate?! Anyway, I like to think that if I play my cards right, I may just end up a wiser 31 year old, looking back on my uncertain 23rd year, thinking “at least I’m not posting lame, ‘inspirational’ blogs anymore…”