I am a very laidback person and (thankfully) have rarely experienced any stress in my life. Things don’t get to me like they might get to others. I don’t know if I was just born this way or it’s a culmination of past experiences that lead me to it. Probably both.
I think laidback people tend to be more open to change. If a surprise situation pops up in their path, they’re able to keep themselves calm and realize that this small alteration in the plan isn’t any reason to freak out. Life goes on.
And for me, I would say this to be true. Small bouts of change have never stalled me or sent me into a panic like it might for some. I know that’s just how things go.
Despite my indifference towards small types of change though, big types of changes are a different story, especially the realization that not only do things change, but people change.
When I was younger, I think my first indicator of this was that ribs always used to be my favorite food for as long as I can remember. It sounds silly but I made sure everyone knew this and told myself that would never change. Ordering ribs for my birthday dinner was a tradition that I had fulfilled year after year until one day, I realized I didn’t like ribs that much anymore. I don’t really know what made me feel this way but I realized that I wanted something different for my birthday dinner. And that scared me.
In fact, I kept ordering ribs for a few birthdays after that realization, just because I didn’t want to accept it as the truth. Now you’re probably thinking, it is just a food, Maggie, I don’t see what the big deal is?
Which is exactly my point: it wasn’t!
Except for the fact that I had told myself for years that this would be my favorite food forever so why was it changing? I didn’t want it to, yet somehow it was. This honestly wasn’t any reason to freak out since it was just a type of food preference, but still, the thought that even I could be altered made me slightly uneasy.
Throughout the years, I am very happy that I have evolved as a person, especially the parts about myself that were not so strong. When the things I dislike about myself change, it’s something to be overjoyed about. When the things I like about myself change however, it makes me rethink everything.
This happened for me this past school year which I’ve only now begun to actually notice.
Before college, I would say that I was the most independent person I could think of and I internally praised myself for it. I loved my privacy and spending time by myself since I viewed myself as more “reliable” than other people. This type of thinking could be viewed as a good or bad thing. Did I prefer my own company because it was safer than relying on other people? Maybe. But as far as I knew, I’d always been that way and didn’t want it to change for me.
Now as I sit here, almost 2 months out of my freshman year of college, I’ve (sadly?) come to realize how much I miss being around people 24/7—something I never thought I would ever say.
Maybe it was the fact that I was living with a roommate for an entire year or the fact that all my friends were down the hall or in the same building and I could call them at any hour to hangout.
There was never a shortage of people to see and things to do, which somehow caused me to evolve to actually craving that human interaction, especially now that I am home.
It’s hard being back in Cincinnati now since I miss constantly seeing those people day after day, calling them up to get breakfast, lunch, dinner with me; to go shopping or go on a drive. To do anything we can possibly think of doing with the ridiculous amount of free time we had.
This is a big change I’ve noticed in myself after spending a year in college. Is it causing me to freak out? Actually, yes since I’ve always prided myself on being the independent girl who never needed anyone (sounds a little cliché but what can I say). But I do. I need people. And that’s a big change that I’m trying to accept within myself. To others this might seem so arbitrary and easy, yet for me, it is a big step.
Along with this, I’ve noticed things that I used to love to do, not holding the same light for me that they used to. And it makes me sad because those were what I used to use to label myself. My identity. But somehow, I’ve found new hobbies, new interests and so now I guess those previous things weren’t actually my identity at all.
I thought this was it, this is who I am. Now after experiencing a completely new environment and pace of living in college, I’ve realized that is not the case. You change every day. You don’t just graduate high school and then that is who you are for the rest of your life. I’m honestly surprised I’m just learning this now since you would think it would be pretty obvious. I guess I was so stuck in my old ways I never thought I needed to evolve. But we all do, you can’t survive without it.
I’m assuming as I continue with college and then enter the real world, I’ll experience more changes. Even if I am not 100% convinced right now, I know it is a good thing and I might as well embrace it, instead of running away scared.