Personal Evolution: It’s a Thing.

personal evolution

I enjoyed lunch with an old friend today, someone who I last saw only in passing when we were teaching spin classes at the same health club (years ago). Our lives have been intertwined in a bunch of different ways since we met in late 1995. I used to care for her school-aged kids in the health club nursery while she taught classes at night and on school holidays, and years later her daughter babysat for my boys in the summer when I worked full-time. She was a mentor to me when I was studying for my ACE Group Fitness certification and then when I became a spin instructor, and she was also, even though we were never super tight besties, there for me at a time in my life when a close friendship imploded. She was a client at the nail salon where I worked for a few years, and of course we socialized outside of all of those things, too. She is one of the most outstanding individuals I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and it was absolutely fabulous to pick up where we left off and talk with ease about all the things, like our kids, her one-year-old granddaughter, and personal evolution.

Just reading that paragraph, I’m amazed at how different my life is from twenty years ago. We talked about that. We talked about how it’s amazing to end up in places and stages that you never could have predicted.

For a person who claims to hate change, I’ve certainly had a lot of it. I have a college degree in Elementary Education, for goodness’ sake. Back when I graduated in 1991 my path had “teacher” written all over it. Right now if I had stayed the course my degree seemed to set, I should be teaching a classroom full of adorable fourth graders and thinking about my upcoming retirement, but my journey has been very different and totally unexpected. I’ve been a group fitness instructor, an author (writing has been my true passion since childhood), a custom framer, a health club membership salesperson, a group fitness instructor, a blogger, a show producer, a mentor, and a social media researcher. Could I have predicted any of this? No. Would any of it have happened if I had been as closed off to the idea of change as I tell myself (and others) I am? No. Now that I think about it, I guess I don’t mind change as long as I feel a little bit of control over it. Story of my life.

We’re all evolving. All of us. We evolve in everything from our beliefs to our careers to our food preferences to our relationships.

Exhibit A: I used to despise avocado and now I can’t get enough of it.
Exhibit B: I used to have no problem being around Drama (capital D) and often trying to take it on and fix it; now I run as far away from Drama and toxic people as I can. I’m not about that life.

Everything in life is a potential stepping stone to something else. When one door closes, another (or a window, depending on whom you ask) opens. Be open to change. Be open to doing something different. Be open to learning new things. Be open to people with whom you think you have nothing in common. Just be open.

My friend has been through a personal evolution, too. Over the past year she has been reveling in her new title (Grandma) and she’s reflecting on relationships and what’s in store for her future. She’s got plans percolating just under the surface and I know, because I know her AND I know she’s a fellow Type A control freak like me, that she will carry out those plans and more. I’m looking forward to her next update, preferably over food and drinks.

By the way, I love that quote by Lewis Carroll in the graphic at the top, but he’s only half right. I can’t go back to yesterday permanently, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t want to. That said, going back to yesterday for a lunchtime visit with a good friend when you can reflect together on all the great ways things have changed since yesterday? Well, that I CAN do.

Are you feeling stuck? It might be time for you to start your own personal evolution. Think about it, and get going. Time’s a-wasting.

One Comment

  • Jenn

    I love this!

    I’m no where near who I thought I’d be when I was in college. Or 10 years ago. Or heck even a year ago. I’ve learned that so many times change comes with pain. But that just smooths the sharp edges off. I know I’ve had doors closed because of my medical issues but some incredible doors of opportunity open. But? There are some instances I would like to go back to yesterday and just watch. Watch THAT moment when things turned me into a new person. I know one of my biggest moments. I wish I could that first big one to see if I knew it was coming. But that’s not the point. I’m not that same person. At all. And that’s a good thing!

    I love this post!!