While there is a deep bond that connects us all, there is also an undeniable realization that we have all grown and changed over the years. We don’t exactly fit together the same way we used to. Since the days when we were close friends, we’ve changed in many ways. Some of us are parents now, some have dealt with painful infertility. Some are yearning for love, some have experienced deep heartbreak. Some have become more engaged in politics, spirituality, or advocacy, some have become less so.
All of us have changed through the life experiences we’ve had over the last 10 years. The love and bond we share remains, but our beliefs, perspectives, and priorities have evolved.
Reflecting on this reminds me of something I heard Jay-Z say in an interview once. I couldn’t find the exact reference, but Jay-Z was talking about returning home to Brooklyn and seeing old friends – friends who knew an earlier and less evolved version of him. He said that several of these old friends pointed out the difference in a rather critical way, saying, “You’ve changed. You’re not the same guy we grew up with.”
His response was, “Thank you.”
Jay-Z stated that he took their words as a compliment – an acknolwedgement of the work he has done to become the best possible version of himself.
I love his response and I wholeheartedly agree that personal growth and change is something to be incredibly proud of. It’s hard, but important work that takes an enormous amount of reflection, introspection, and, of course, therapy. It’s also continuous – we never “arrive” – we always have the opportunity to go deeper and discover more.
But, as we know, the payoff is always, always, worth it.
I, personally, feel committed to my own personal growth and development. I consider myself a pretty emotionally healthy individual – but therapy remains a standing appointment on my calendar because my mental health and wellbeing are so important to me.
As therapists, I believe that it’s really important to keep our own growth and development top-of-mind. Not only does it help us leave healthier, happier lives, but it also has a direct benefit on the lives of those we love, and the health and wellbeing of our clients.
I hope to continue to grow alongside you, friends, in hopes that people will notice that we’ve changed – and so that we can respond with, “thank you.”