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To Everyone Who’s Scared of Change

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It’s alright. I’ll still be here for you.

I know you’re watching me, waiting. I can feel it in my bones. You’re wondering how much it takes for me to forget – everything I’ve known. To separate, to make a new life, to leave you behind. When will the day come when I just stop texting? Emailing? When I move on, when new friends accompany my new world, my new church, my new home. New opinions already have. When will the day come when you wonder and say, “I don’t know her anymore,”? We were friends once, but she’s moved on.

You wait to see. You wait to see me change everything about me, you smile sadly, knowingly. You watch others and nod your head. It’s a waiting game, she’ll be like them. She won’t be who she used to be. Maybe, maybe a little piece of her will show through – but it won’t be enough, and it will be too late.

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But it won’t. I am here to say it won’t. Do not expect me to be like Them, the others. I am not Them. Yes I change – of course I change, I’m human, and I can’t stop that. But I will always be Aria, and whether I’m Hoppe or Lewis I will still be me. I will still be the dorky teenager with the big glasses, the girl who loves cats all too well and belts out Broadway in the shower.  I may look different, I may show different things on the outside because of Professionalism, but that is still me. I will still be the high school senior with vintage clothes and shoes and blonde curls and hats and her record player running as she swing dances by herself.

I just won’t be by myself anymore.

Please know I’m adding to myself – nothing is leaving, it’s all still here, plus more. I will have different priorities and will be doing different things, but I’m just adding them to the rest of me. And I’m clinging – I’m clinging harder to childhood now than I ever have before. I shall not leave it behind. I will, instead, bring it with me.

I will always be here. I love you just the same, and I promise you, that as long as you need me, I will be here for you. Know this truth, until I die.

I will not forget.

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