When I say I want to be pretty or am trying to change my hairstyle or makeup to be pretty, my friends or other people I love have said to me something like “You are perfect. I love the way you are. There is nothing you have to change.” These are the nicest words a person can give while also being the most dangerous words for the person receiving them.
When something needs to be changed, we may be afraid. When we start a new job or new school, when we move to another city, or when a relationship with someone changes like parting ways, a breakup, divorce, or death, we often become anxious, nervous and scared. It is normal. Change is scary. We don’t want our environment to be changed. We want homeostasis. We don’t want our loved ones anything to change.
However, everything changes. Change is the only thing that does not change. As time passes, we are born, we get older, we love a person and hate that person, we separate, and we die. Change is universal.
This is me when I was 4 years old. Or maybe 5, I’m not sure. It should be my birthday, but I do not remember the day. This younger version of me looks like the current me a little bit, but not exactly alike. If there were a time machine, and I could show up in front of her, she’d probably never have thought of me as her future self, and probably I might not even notice she is my younger self as well. My mom says she is me, however, so I trust that she truly is my younger self. But what if there might be a chance that, let’s say, this girl was kidnapped and my mom adopted me instead, and because of the shock, she got it into her mind that the adopted girl was her real biological daughter.
Although it is highly unlikely, and I hope not, there is a chance. Only from the photo is it hard to tell. We look absolutely different. Not only our physical appearances, but the way we think is also completely different. I have knowledge now that she did not have then. Experience as well. She has youth, and I’ve gotten old, and most of the cells in my body may be completely replaced by now.
This girl was me. But she is not me anymore. We have the same name, the same birthday, and the same DNA nucleotide sequence, but still, she is hardly the same person as my current self at all. She and I are too (it could also be ‘two’) different people. She has changed. I have changed. She and I are different, but at the same time, we are the same person.
There are good changes and bad changes. And I hope my growing up as my current self was a good change. Of course, ageing is more or less an unfortunate thing, but apart from that, I wish I had grown up, having changed better. I hope I earned a more positive overall score when the balance of good and bad changes is considered.
Therefore, if a person said to me that “There is nothing you need to change.”, it makes me a little bit inconsolable and heartbroken. There are things that I am unhappy about myself, from tiny things like my hairstyle or makeup to bigger things like some aspects of my life, and I want them to be better. We are trying to be better by changing, and then, they say there is nothing needed to be changed. It means staying the same, staying unhappy and unsatisfied. And no matter what, we change, we age.
Most likely, people say that in a positive sense, but it does not mean you can feel positive about your current self completely. Simply saying “You have nothing to change.” is careless, irresponsible and unhelpful. This is why “You have nothing to change.” is a dangerous saying. If they truly love us, they should support our desired changes to be prettier, stronger, smarter and healthier.
I want to change in a good way. And I do think we are all the same in that sense. We don’t want to just grow old and die. We are meant to change. We must change. So, even if people say there is nothing we need to change, we should change.