I took these pictures on the first of March and it’s strange to think how much I’ve changed in just the three months since then. But I hesitate to call it change because I haven’t morphed into anything else, I’ve simply grown. These pictures were taken to document a new hair cut and like myself, my hair is not different now, just longer. I think what’s changed most is actually my relationship with change and my relationship with the people in my life, not specifically, but people in general. I’ve never really been a believer in the notion that a person can change your life but I’ve come to disagree with myself. I think the people you surround yourself with and those who you choose to allow to influence your life has such a major impact on your mindset and attitude. If you choose to associate with people who are a positive influence and who match your own energy without trying to forcefully pull you up or down to their level, interacting with them seems so much more effortless. I think it really is about finding the people you fit with.
I would consider myself a pretty happy person. I’m quite motivated, excitable, smiley, but I’m also just quite content with my life. I think for a while I had the perspective that, because I was happy, I shouldn’t have to ‘change’ for anyone around me in case I compromise my happiness or what I want in life, because I’m the only one who can give me that. I suppose I agree with that in the sense that I don’t think it’s okay for me to morph into an entirely new person just to please someone, but if change is going to make me into a better person, then that’s something I want to work on, not just for the benefit of others but also for myself. If my actions for some reason have a negative impact on people, I don’t believe it is someone’s job to go away and avoid me, it’s my job to improve myself. I think it’s entirely unrealistic for me to think that I’m never going to change for anyone or anything because that would be assuming that I am at the peak of my existence, or that I am at a stand still amongst the inevitable movement of time and if I am not constantly aspiring to change or more accurately, to grow, then doesn’t that mean I have nowhere to go? I think life is far more a personal and mental journey than it is a physical journey. If I travel across the other side of the world, if it does nothing for me personally or mentally or if it adds nothing to my life then I don’t see any point in it.
Back to the topic of the influence of people, I used to view happiness as something that was only controlled by me. Only I can make myself happy. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I don’t want my happiness to be dictated by my relationships with other people, but that’s not to say they can’t contribute! Humans are innate social creatures so it’s only natural that good relationships with all the people in your life will contribute to your happiness. I think it’s in other people we are able to build on our understanding of our purpose in life, and it’s there we can find meaning, and I think that’s where happiness lies. Changing into a person that does not align with who I am as a person or who I want to be, just to please another persons wants or needs is definitely something that will compromise my happiness. But finding people who inspire you to change and grow into a better person is only going to contribute, and it is so important to know the difference.
I can look back on a photo of myself and think, ‘wow my hair’s grown over two inches in those three months’, but I don’t wake up every day and notice that it’s grown half a millimetre. My main point I think is that I’m learning not to be afraid of the concept of change, and looking back at these photos I am actually happy to say that I can see a change in myself. I’ve watched some videos by a YouTuber called Lana Blakely, and she has mentioned a few times that we need to stop assuming that we know ourselves. Change happens without us even being aware of it, as we are influenced by the people around us, by our experiences and by the things we consume, and if we are stuck assuming things about ourselves based on our knowledge of ourselves a few months or even years ago, we are only holding ourselves back. Similarly, making excuses for our actions just because ‘that’s who I am’, or ‘I’m just like that’, or ‘that’s just my personality’, is just another example of assuming we know ourselves. Personality isn’t necessarily concrete and we can build upon our traits to become a person we want to be.
The point is, we aren’t just ‘stuck’ as the person we think we are, and we can change to become the person we want to be, if we actually endeavour to do so. If change is inevitable, like they say, why not be mindful of that and move with time to change intentionally.