As we travel through this winding path we call life, with its twists and turns and ragged edges, we are pushed into some pathways and willingly find ourselves at the crossroads of others. At every crossroad, we make a choice. Some choices change us so drastically and so quickly that we forget who we were only yesterday. Others feel like a gentle stroke of an artist’s brush; barely acknowledged but equally important. At every crossroad, we meet new faces and partake in new experiences. These interactions mould us, but only if we let them. Every dent, every touch, every impression is forever ingrained in us. Minutes, hours, days, years pass by until we look back. We look back at old pictures, past friends, ancient experiences and realize that it is not our reflection staring back. This realization is sometimes sudden, sometimes gradual, but it comes. It comes with a tidal wave of fury that reminds us, over and over: you, like a fluttering leaf that doesn’t quite know what colour it is, are ever-changing.
It is foolish to resent change, to be so adamant on a way of life that even the mention of a slight adjustment is deemed absurd. It is acceptable, admirable even, to hold ourselves and our deepest beliefs in high regard. We must not, however, be so wrapped up in these beliefs that we begin to shy away from new experiences and challenges. Too often we are enclosed in a shell of our deepest fears, unwillingly to peek out into the real world. Living in this shell, we forget the bitter taste of failure, but also the sweet scent of a new adventure. We must take risks when we see uncertainty before us. We must be willing to embrace the consequences of a leap of faith. As we grow and develop as individuals, our views and perspectives develop with us. We are not who we were yesterday or who we will be tomorrow. To accept the beauty of this change is to truly experience freedom. We must change as individuals, it is inevitable. To believe otherwise is to be foolish.