The older I get, the more I realize how changeable we all are. And how necessary for us to be so. Imagine never outgrowing the furry earrings you used to wear as a child or that astonishing phase when everyone thought wearing a necklace with a crocodile (or some other unknown reptile) tooth as a pendant was the peak of fashion brilliance. Imagine never having to move on from a bad hairstyle and sporting The Rachel long after the hype has ended. Imagine never having to buy a new pair of pants because mom jeans never went out of style. Imagine still liking the boy from high school who grew up to be the biggest tool you have ever seen.
Then there’s the let’s-start-a-band phase. The I-can-pull-off-wearing-a-fake-diamond-stud-earring phase for the guys. The I-look-good-in-goth phase. The it’s-fun-to-party-with-strangers phase. The not-studying-is-cool phase. The who-needs-a-haircut-I’ll-cut-my-own-bangs phase.
We look at the past as if it was lived by an entirely different person because, in many ways, it’s true. But now we cringe because we have moved on. We laugh at the version of ourselves five years ago because that person was stupid enough to think that she could pull off going to the office for a week with a massive hangover every day. We let out a wistful sigh when we think about the high school version of us looking forward to going to college and reinventing ourselves—just enough to be more interesting, not so much as to become a bottomless pit of bad decisions overnight.
See, we change decisions all the time. We reevaluate how we feel about things and people on a regular basis. From time to time, we question what we want to do with our lives and why we want to do it. We make mistakes, only we do not call them mistakes; we call them experiences. We try different things. We betray ourselves for the sake of the Future. Sometimes, we betray the Future for the sake of the Now. But that’s okay. It’s better to collect the I-shouldn’t-haves than pile up on the what-ifs. Because how else will we know who we truly are if we’ve never been anything else?
The older I get, the more I realize how changeable we are and how necessary it is sometimes to leave things and persons behind. Even if that person is ourself. Because there will always be new experiences to try and a new version of us that we need to meet and grow into. And my god is it absolutely worth it.