51 yesterday.

And I’m celebrating change.

I look in the mirror and see a face different from the one I saw a few years ago. Yes, I have aged, put on weight and changed. But these are changes that can be seen and things people remark about.

The changes that not so many people mention, at least to my face, are the changes in the way I interact with others and how opinionated I seem to have become. When an ex-colleague wished me yesterday and called me a ‘gentle’ wordsmith, I corrected him and said that I wasn’t so sure of the ‘gentle’ part. I was schooled to be gentle. Told not to raise my voice. And in the bargain, I somehow lost my ability to truly stand up for myself. Now the ‘gentle’ woman has given way to a much fiercer version of me – actually, the real version of me. Authenticity rules!

At times I hear myself talking, and say, ‘Hey, when did you become so vocal?’ At other times, I have to tell myself to go easy and realize that silence is the best response to a particular situation or person.

I’m balancing my relationships much better and that’s something to celebrate.

More cynical?

I’ll admit, I’ve become more wary of people. I no longer take things and people at face value. From the trusting, open soul I used to be, I’m  more cautious and guarded in some ways.

A few people may find that I’ve become cynical, and perhaps I have, if cynical means that I no longer buy their stories or jump to rescue them from the messes of their own creation.

Somewhere along the way I’ve realized that I am an introvert and it takes a lot of energy for me to interact with people, especially in large groups. That’s a huge realization, and it brought about a lot of change. In the past, I’d force myself to attend parties and make visits out of a sense of duty. Now I’m quite happy to skip several social occasions that sap my energy without feeling the slightest guilt.

I’ve also learned to cut off or minimize contact with people who drain me or bring drama into my life or who are just plain mean or jealous.  I read this today and it well articulates what I’ve been unconsciously doing:  You need to align yourself with people who fit your destiny not your history.

The biggest change I celebrate within myself is that I am no longer apologetic about my choices and my behaviour. Only I know how hard I’ve worked to bring change within myself, to become stronger, to make better choices.

Openess And Gratitude

Another change that I celebrate  is that I am now much more open to other people’s choices. For example, I have grown from thinking that homeosexuality is a sin, to being someone who will stand up for the freedom and rights of the LGBTQ community.

Perhaps, the biggest cause of celebration for me is that I’ve learned to be grateful for my blessings and even for things that seemingly go wrong. I see everything that happens as a life lesson. Yes, I might grumble for a short while and then I realize everything works for good and that somewhere down the road I’ll figure out why that particular bump came my way!

It’s the same with all of us. Only the individual knows the battles they’re fighting. Only you know how far you’ve come and where you want to go. Know that I wish you well on that journey.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
– Maya Angelou


Have you changed over the years? I’d love to hear about your metamorphosis.

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