“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.”
A few years ago, I participated in a Q&A with college students nearing graduation. I was more than a decade away from that time in my life, but I remembered it very well. One of the students asked me what was the most surprising thing that had happened to me in my post-school years. I answered very matter-of-factly, “It’s surprising that what I really want for my life has changed. I’ll wake up occasionally and realize I’m chasing the dream of my 15-year-old self or that of my 24-year-old self. But I’m not that person anymore, so how can I have that person’s wants and needs?”
It’s not about becoming less idealistic. It’s about allowing your life to inform you and pull you in a direction you weren’t necessarily expecting or that you may not have wanted in the past but do now. Sometimes those changes are subtle, and sometimes they’re grand. But there will always be those changes.
I believe my 22-year-old self would be gobsmacked if she knew the wants/needs/daydreams of my 37-year-old self. And I bet my 67-year-old self could surprise the heck out me right now if she could. Change is indeed surprising. And wonderful.
How does change surprise you?