The New You

If you're even remotely self aware, at a certain point, you want to stop being the person everyone expects you to be.

So, you try new things. You branch out. And everyone is shocked or estranged or some combination of the two. A few good friends stick around and watch, and some of them even like this new you.

But eventually, you realize you've wandered off from your group to explore something shiny at the carnival and you get lonely and seek the group again, so you return to the old ways and the old things. But something feels off. You don't really like doing the old ways and the old things, and the group doesn't appreciate you doing them nearly as much.

This moment of awareness is the moment you realize you're no longer who you were. That moment doesn't happen when you venture off. It happens when you come back and realize you can never be what you were. It hurts, because you realize you've permanently changed the dynamic and you're going to lose friends and interests and familiarity.

But there you are. Aware. You're not the same person anymore. And it just won't work the same way anymore.

Now, you can lie to yourself for a while. And you probably will. You'll try to convince yourself you can rejoin the group and the old things and the old ways. You'll behave how you used to. You'll laugh at the old jokes. You'll go through the same routines. It'll be just like the old you and the old days.

But something inside you will keep stinging. Like a blister on a march, every step will remind you something's just not right. And eventually, it'll fester and rupture. And you'll be out – if not because you elect to move on, because they will eventually kick you out. Either way, things are going to change.

It's much harder than you can possibly imagine if you've not been through it yet. But with any luck, you'll get to see what it's like, because once you make it through, you'll realize life is vastly improved on the other side. Lonely, yes... In the short term. But eventually the new you will find new friends and new groups that fit who you've become. But even without them, once you've accepted the reality that you are who you are, now and in every iteration, you'll be a much happier person.