Enjoy a little music to get you in the right mindset for this post. I know it helped me write it. Mostly because as I often do, I knew this was coming, but was working to prevent it. But let’s get to the heart of the matter shall we?
When you look at your various relationships in life you can usually see a point where things between you an a person shift. They change. Not always for the worse. Not always in unmanageable ways. Your high school friends, college friends, and co-worker friends are often times entirely different. And as you take the hard look back, you know you aren’t the same. Part of that is adolescents’ brains haven’t fully developed into what they will be yet so you have not quite all you, transitional you, and of course complete you. Still though, the ones who stuck around are aware of your changes as well as their own, and are okay with it. Close friends, the ones we walk through our darkest moments with, participate in the give and take of change willingly. And in the end we do the same for them.
In our romantic relationships the same is not always able to be said. If the American divorce stats can be any sort of barometer for the success rate of romantic relationships you have about as good a chance of change being too much for you and your partner as you do it being a lifelong success. And that’s not a bad thing. Because change on the face of it, cannot be a bad thing. It is all about what kind of change is coming. I relearned this lesson back in January at the end of a relationship that was early in the process. So early I’m comfortable saying that it was no one’s fault, but our own collective fault for not noticing it earlier. I say earlier but I really only mean about a month. 2 months, that’s all we pulled off before it was over. Because we weren’t in the places to make it work. 10 years ago, at 23(at the time) I wouldn’t have made the decisions I made as fast. I would have been unhappy and resentful but still dating her. Now, I’ve changed fast enough to just cut it off before we both are over invested.
Change is helpful
When we think about change in the negative, we often judge first. I think often times because we want everything in life to be positive. But that isn’t reality. And it isn’t helpful. Sometimes negative change is more helpful than positive change. How? Think on this. If a friend of yours you notice is drinking way too often, maybe starting to abuse a prescription, or getting too into party drugs and risky activities. You treat it as the problem it is and try to help your friend. That outward change though, is often the expression of a much more internal issue. And as someone who’s helped someone deal with a substance abuse problem, I can tell you that was the hardest part was helping him confront the underlying issue. But that never would have happened if we didn’t see the change that was happening for what it was, a need for help.
Negative changes can also be helpful in a more direct way. Some of the people who are around you are not good for you. Whether that is outright open hostility, or just negative comments behind your back, they are holding you back from who you can be. It isn’t even a selfish act, some people just don’t realize what they are doing effects you as it does. So they need to be gotten away from. And you can realize that as you see their negative change grow. Maybe you keep them around based on who they were. Maybe you don’t agree with the new them, but believe in the old them. If you can bear it talk to them first, but otherwise get out of the crosshairs.
Sure everyone changes, you know that. But sometimes it is hard to notice that we are the change that is negative, or the change that needs to be gotten away from. That is all a part of the process of growing. In the modern world we may be losing something from that. What do I mean? Look at the pressure for young people in general (13 to 25) to keep their lives online as much as offline. If you were born in 1990, You have spent every year you could properly encapsulate ideas with social media platforms. Where your life online is just as important as offline. And that has consequences. You don’t lose touch anymore, you basically can’t without actually choosing to. I had the great pleasure recently of reconnecting with someone I hadn’t talked to since I was in elementary school. Let me back up. I ran into a extremely different version of me’s elementary school buddy. Brief words exchanged before we had to get on to what we were doing, but still an old friend none the less. That was followed by facebook friending, following each other on twitter, and stuff like that. Things we never knew were going to happen way back when.
But for most who knew college Matt, much less, high school, middle school, and elementary Matt, they’ve passed out into the ether. That used to be fine with all of us. You carried one or two friends from your old neighborhood into adulthood but most friends came from elsewhere. It was a free pass on the last part of change. The change that happens when you realize you have to stop being around certain people and let the link fade away. Now more than before, that is something that we have to constantly keep stock in. Something that is the genesis of buzz feed articles and memes about getting rid of racist friends or ones who don’t share your political beliefs. But even that change, is good in small doses only. You need people who challenge you, not antagonize you.
I make a point of talking about having ardent atheists, anarchists, communists, socialists, libertarians, tea partiers, democrats, republicans, Jews, Mormons(shoutout to Brett Peterson), and others in my list of friends. Having people of many different ethnic classifications, and certainly the most divisive, people of different musical tastes as friends. The ones I still consider friends are that because they are different, they challenge me, but they aren’t disrespectful or antagonistic towards me. Me as most of them know, is a complex subject. Challenging me as THE Ruthless Wonder, is not the same as me personally. If we disagree, often it is more to do with me here than me they have a drink or catch a flick with. And everyone is fine with that. In your life you need to think about the same. Are the people who are around you challenging you? Because that helps you grow and become better. Or are they antagonizing you? Because that isn’t okay, it doesn’t help you, and friends even in disagreement should help each other change. I leave you to your evaluation.
And as you know change comes to things you love. Like US! You know I only give you a taste normally, but we’re going to be giving you a bit more info that usual.
Weekends Don’t Do It Justice writer Reason has and will be on break for very important school related stuff for a while. But while she’s out, I’ve been working on things. And by the time she gets back, her serial stories will be the crown jewel of the new Weekends Don’t Do It Justice Site which is easy to find at www.wkndlife.com
The launch was delayed most due to some internal things that were taking a while. Over there you’ll find music, movie, literary, TV, webseries, and other reviews, as well as some gaming related material material. The casual to our hardcore, I’m really excited about what is coming there. Give us about a week or so and we’ll be up and running over there.
There is more coming, more changes, more evolution, more growth, but as always Words Don’t Do It Justice!