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Cultivating Change: the Blooms of a Beautiful Tomorrow

I have heard that the only constant in life is the element of change. At a moment’s notice we could be given a job promotion or be hit with the overwhelming desire to quit working altogether and explore the world. Our connection to change is like a bee to honey – we can’t deny our fascination with it, but more importantly, we sometimes fail to recognize our ability to create it. However, not all change is earth-shattering; it could be a simple adjustment to our daily routine rather than a drastic upheaval of everything we thought we knew. Change, however we view it, will remain inevitable.


The change that I wasn’t expecting was how intensely it would affect my perspective on friendships. Most of these bonds started before I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how impactful they’d become to me. I was young, immature in deciding who I wanted to walk through life with. Don’t get me wrong: one of the biggest joys in my life is knowing I have so much history with these people. As I get older (wiser, not so much), I realize that friends are one of the hardest things to have in this world. Friends are bound to go through change.


Perhaps the biggest change in my life was going away to school in Minnesota, with miles and miles between us. The distance became a thorn in the side of friends who weren’t trying to get hurt by tending the soil of our friendship, but got pricked regardless. I didn’t mean to let our bond get overgrown, but the inevitable nature of the beast that is change dictated the friends who would pick a rose for a bouquet, and others would pick the petals off, playing that trite game of “does she care, does she not?”


And no matter how hard I tried to become more self-aware of when I was an absentee in the life of my friends, it didn’t seem to be enough.


Friends, if you’ll let them, can blossom into blessings, but you have to give them nourishment, otherwise they begin to wilt. You have to become willing to expend your own energy to see your friends thrive and be happy with knowing that you helped them do it.


Here’s the pivotal part. If these friends that you have cultivated into lifelong connections can no longer continue to grow in their current environment, you must be selfless and adjust the type of care you give them. It’s hard to do, but the preening and pruning of these flowers, these friends, is worth it to watch them flourish.

Similarly, you cannot become upset that the care you gave these blooming friendships enabled them to grow and thrive in directions that don’t directly involve you. The roots that grew as the foundation cannot be at fault for wanting to spread out and explore. Because you love these friends; you saw them out from beginning seeds of a beautiful bond, you were there to help them see their true beauty, and you must accept that change will take the reins from your great work. But you cannot be resentful.


My life lately has been a mix of planting new seeds and figuring out the best care for flowers that have grown beside me. It’s been difficult to feel like the thorn in others’ sides or perhaps even the flower whose petals are being ripped apart, searching for some certainty. It’s not easy growing. To all the friends that helped me grow into who I am, I am grateful that you worked so hard. To all the friends that I hope I am doing the same for, I cannot wait for you to sprout into something amazing.


And as for change, I will continue to tend to the soils of friends past, present and future because I am certain that something beautiful will bloom in the face of their inevitable uncertainty.







My name is Hannah Hippensteel, and I like to say I'm a Chicago city-slicker, but I'm actually from the 'burbs. I'm currently a senior at Winona State with a major in mass communication-journalism and a minor in sociology. Catch me enjoying all Winona has to offer: the bluffs, the incomparable Bloedow's Bakery, and not to mention, Minnesota boys. With a goal of working at Teen Vogue, Seventeen or Glamour magazine, I'm soaking up every opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse and share my personal voice!
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