"It Just Seems Like You've Changed"

I find that change is more often affiliated with negativity. It’s the scary, looming uncertainty of change that makes us all a little weary. When you really think about it, how often have you heard something like…

“I guess it’s just hard to think about change.”

“We just have to overcome the change.”

Or, the worst one yet, in my opinion…

“It just seems like you’ve changed.”

Change is daunting, difficult and it definitely forces us to adapt to new situations. Ultimately, I believe it makes us better people and teaches us a lot about ourselves. I have learned how emotionally challenging “seasons of change” are, as I like to call them. When the school year wraps up and I’m trying to figure out what my summer work will look like, or when I start a new clinical rotation and am adjusting to the new unit, for example, I find that I feel a bit disconnected with myself until this discomfort of the unfamiliar subsides. Over time and with experience, I feel that I’ve become significantly more comfortable with change, and have taken to it with much more ease than I once did. 

However, the word “change” can be a heavy one, especially when it pertains to our relationships with others. Whether it’s a relationship with a friend or a significant other, sometimes people just grow apart. I really do believe in those cliché gut feelings, and that sense that something just isn’t quite right. Confrontation isn’t easy, but it’s necessary when a relationship seems off. 

“It just seems like you’ve changed.” 

This statement rattled me inside when it was said and I immediately felt guilty. Was the disconnect we’d been feeling my fault? Had an unconscious transformation somehow created a divide between myself and a loved one? I couldn’t pinpoint the reason for this disconnect we’d been feeling for a long time, but suddenly with these words hanging in the air, the blame laid heavily on my shoulders. 

I have learned so much about myself while reflecting on past relationships. Most importantly, I have learned that those who are meant to be in your life will find their own personal growth alongside yours. It’s taken me some time to realize that this personal change is natural and normal, and without it, we’d all be ridiculously bored with ourselves. 

Change is growth, and without self-growth, we’d just be complacent in life. I am working on cherishing change rather than fearing it, no matter how unnatural it may feel in the moment. I urge you to redefine how you think of change and allow yourself the freedom of becoming.