My eight year old daughter asked me a question yesterday afternoon as I was preparing grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. “Mama, how do you like someone you don’t even know?”
I was unsure of what she meant so I asked, “What do you mean?” She went on to explain that there was a boy in her third grade class that she thought she liked in the beginning of the year. She then went on to say that she no longer likes him because she now knows him better and thinks he is just a gross boy. After all, girls rule and boys drool! DUH!
I took her original question to mean “Why would I have thought I liked him in the first place and not realize I didn’t even know him?”
I tried to explain to her that sometimes first impressions are not an accurate representation of that person, never judge a book by its cover. People do change. People change for many different reasons. I am not entirely sure she grasped the concept of my words but it seemed to satisfy her as that was the end of the conversation.
She went off to finish her homework and I was left pondering her question and my answer. People change. I have heard the phrase “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” I disagree with this statement. People change. Situations, circumstances, and levels of understanding and comprehension can all influence change. I feel that if a person is not changing, they are not growing. There are plateaus in life. Some people are content to reach one of these plateaus and make camp. Some people will rest a while on the plateau and then pick up their trek onward, seeking better. Some people are afraid of change and resist it at every turn.
Every single person has their own path. Some walk blindly. Some veer away from the path and become lost. Some look at another persons’ path and pass judgment. Some view others’ path with envy, neglecting their own path. Some people walk their path with no boundaries in place.
Unfortunately and fortunately, I have done every single one of these things. I am currently seeking my own path that I veered off of. I am shedding my envy of others’ paths. I am shedding my judgment. I am building the healthy boundaries I wish to place on my own path. I am changing. Three years ago I could have been described as closed off, blunt, and cold. I had a serious case of resting bitch face.
I no longer resonate with that person, that image of myself. I have shed so much and grown between then and now. I have experienced many different life-altering situations. I have changed. I have been shaped by my experiences and my relationships. I decided to get off that plateau I found myself lounging on. I decided to wake up and get a move on. Some days I am excited to know that I am on a trek to do and be better. Some days I feel terrified of my journey and wonder why I didn’t stay asleep on that safe, comfortable, and known plateau.
Yesterday was one of those terrifying days. I felt stuck. Then my wonderful and wise daughter asks me a seemingly innocent question and I am reminded of the importance of my own journey. I am reminded that change is okay. Change can mean growth if only it is embraced.
(FYI, the googled definition of plateau: An area of relatively level high ground; a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress.)