As we age, we change in a variety of ways. Some of them like gray hair and wrinkles are a little more evident than other things like changing views on politics or self-confidence. Many of the changes are more noticeable to us that to others because we are our own worst critics.
That “go-to” dress you’ve worn to every wedding you’ve been invited to for the last three years suddenly doesn’t look right because some things are sagging where they didn’t before. You randomly notice yourself rolling your eyes at comments that you would have agreed to in the past.
Changes like this can be chalked up to not only age (or too many midnight snacks) but also to exposure of different people and their viewpoints.
You meet people throughout your life with whom you become instant friends. Despite disagreements, you can still treat one another like nothing happened. You can literally argue one moment and then go to lunch together the next moment with no animosity. Disagreements are a part of life — a part of friendship, relationships and work.
Those are the best relationships — you know that if they hurt your feelings, you can call them out on their BS and then go on with your day with confidence that there was no damage done to your friendship.
These friends are the ones that will stick by you even if they disagree with you. They will support your decision as YOUR decision — even if they think it’s stupid or the biggest mistake of your life.
They stand by you because you are YOU and because they love YOU for YOU.
I’ve done a lot of research into different views of sexuality or gender-identity. While I don’t quite understand some of these things and how an individual identifies these feelings in themselves, I operate on a “to each his/her own” basis. Some of my best friends are people that I NEVER thought would be my friends based on my life in small town Georgia.
I am supportive of them. I listen to them talk about their issues and their problems just like I would any friend and they do the same for me. My friendships with these people have actually helped to change my views on a lot of things.
I find myself disagreeing with many on the liberal side of politics, but also find that my views aren’t completely aligned with conservative views either. I honestly never thought that would happen.
I find myself arguing with people I feel are closed-minded. And guess what? Sometimes I agree with their ideas or opinions — I just want to make sure that they at least have the confidence in their own opinions to see both sides of the coin before standing firmly on that soapbox.
I like to play devil’s advocate and make sure that someone looks at both sides of an issue before he or she makes assumptions based on a knee-jerk reaction.
Sometimes you find yourself outgrowing the opinions you thought you believed in. And sometimes that change in opinion makes you wonder if you’re outgrowing the people in your life who stand by those values you no longer agree with.
Sometimes you outgrow a friendship or relationship just because life gets in the way. You may suddenly feel like the fringe-friend. Like you’re only included as an after-thought. Or like your plans and desire to hang out takes a backseat to other people.
I know several people who feel like their friends have become those take-advantage friends who only call when they need something. Life happens — we have jobs, families, and other responsibilities. But a random life update via text still means a lot to people. I’ve tried to help these friends with these feelings and explain away their friend’s actions, but sometimes there’s just a feeling that is there.
It’s not as obvious as the waistband of your pants digging into your hip or your shirt clinging to a beer belly, but we can outgrow more than our clothing. Some of it is growing up and some of it is outgrowing.
I don’t know how you know when you’re outgrowing a relationship or a job other than if you’re questioning it, you should probably take the time to explore those feelings.
It’s okay to outgrow ideas or feelings and friendships as we grow up. That’s a part of growing up… outgrowing close-minded ideas, friendships with people who don’t invest in your friendship, zig-zag parts… and our pants.