When my friend Amy* was in her twenties, she was competition-level Maneater. If you could medal in OkCupid and making out with dudes in bar bathrooms, she would have made it to the podium.
Every time we’d meet for drinks or dinner, we’d all wait with baited breath to hear about her latest hijinks – how were things going with The Handsome Dumb Dentist? Was she going to see Shy Professor again? On some level, those of us who were partnered up (or less romantically aggressive) were living vicariously through her dating and smooching choices.
About a year ago, Amy found her Person – she’s so happy and we’re so happy for her! That being said, I’ve heard more than a few joking/not joking mumbles of “She’s not nearly as fun now” and “If Amy partnered up and boringed out, what hope is there for the rest of us?”
Amy does not owe us a fascinating, frequently changing, hilarious personal life.
Maybe you’ve been wearing Pinterest-worthy outfits for the last ten years, topped with carefully styled hair and a flawless cat eye. But your life is changing – because you moved, got a new job, had a kid – and you’re turning into a jeans/t-shirt/chapstick kind of lady.
We do not owe anyone our pretty.
We’re allowed to look and dress and style ourselves in a way that works for the life we’re living right now.
You’ve been clawing your way up the corporate ladder for years. You head All The Committees, you have the corner office, the assistant, the shoes that clickity clack importantly when you walk down the hall. And allofasudden, you’re over it. You bail on the six figure salary to reassess and retrain.
We do not owe anyone our ambition.
We don’t need to exist for anyone else’s professional inspiration.
You’ve lived in 15 cities in the last 12 years. You’ve switched careers three times (photographer > graphic designer > entrepreneur) and dated people who have adjectives for names. You’ve ridden your share of elephants and camels and your life looks amazing on Instagram. All you really want is a two-bedroom house in the suburbs near your parents, a steady paycheck, and to stop assessing life through your phone.
We do not owe anyone our intrigue.
We don’t have to keep living a life we’re finished with just because it looks good on the internet.I know you know this, but you’re allowed to change and if people love you, they’ll let you. Click To Tweet
We all want to be (and have) supportive friends. When someone’s life changes and it’s no longer a source of ‘entertainment’ or ‘inspiration’ it’s probably because they’d rather be the person we see in front of us now.
Have you ever struggled with this – either evolving out of the life that people expect you to lead or having a friend dramatically change? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.
*Not her real name because I want my friends to keep talking to me