In my twenties, I've learned that I am someone who loves physical change, like moving apartments and rearranging a room and starting a new job. But, I am not someone who loves emotional change. I hoard my emotional possessions and am a keep-in-touch-addict and do anything I can to maintain sameness when it comes to my emotional well-being.
And, as it turns out, your twenties is one of the hardest phases to crave emotional sameness, because everything is constantly changing. It's a time warp of a decade - 10 years that feel like 20. The person I am at 28 barely remembers 23 year old Whitney - let alone the 20 year old version. The way life changes from 26 to 28 alone is mind boggling - to think it was just two years ago that Katie, Melissa and I were in the rat house with a broken foot. It feels like a lifetime ago.
And, even crazier, that it has only been a year since I went to Africa and quit dating and started dating again. My, how much has changed in just one year.
Halloween weekend marked four years in Atlanta for me and, as is inevitable, in that time, many of my relationships have changed. From new ones forming, to others fading away and others going much deeper, it's impossible to avoid that time changes our relationships. It weathers some and strengthens others - but it very rarely leaves them the same.
The friendships we craved and needed at 21 best not be what we need at 28, or else we're stagnant - and if we aren't growing, what are we doing? We're like the ocean - sometimes moving forward and sometimes backward, but never staying still.
Lately, I'm dancing between both resisting and learning to accept the way my relationships are changing. There will be those that will grow forever deeper - alongside one another through good and bad, near and far. And there will be those that are absorbed and carved deeply into our hearts, shaping us into the people we are today - even if they are no longer part of our day to day, the nitty gritty.
The beautiful thing is, every day, we have the chance to meet more people and build more relationships. But the hard part is, every day, we still only have 24 hours. And the more people you add in, the more your hours are divided and conquered - the more we must choose who should be in the nitty gritty and who should become more periphery. Not because they are less loved or important, but because as our desires and needs change, so do the people that must be in the day to day with us.
There will be those that once carried and sustained us and whether they continue to walk alongside us with every step or become more distant, they are important and beautiful. Because they made us who we are today and who we will become tomorrow. And that is really the best part of it all.