“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love the changed person.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham
I love stories of couples who have been together for decades, who celebrate year after year together and still maintain that bond of love and friendship. My grandparents had it, my parents had it and my brother has it. I have not been able to weather that change with as much success as they have but that truth does not make me sad.
The most basic definition of change is to make something different. That is how the dictionary categorizes change and I have been through many circumstances in my life that have caused me to become different. Sadly, or perhaps not, I was unable to continue relationships with certain loves because I became a changed person. I had grown from experience, I had aged from knowledge and I had matured from the lessons of my reality.
I am, decidedly, not the same person this year as last. There is an underlying intensity to me that I had never previously possessed. There is a confidence, a slow-burning belief in myself, that is gradually being fueled by the understanding of my recently discovered strengths. And that person did not exist while I was in those past relationships. That person slowly transformed from chrysalis to butterfly, evolved from the person I used to be, and changed into the person I am now.
Certainly it would be a happy coincidence if we are fortunate enough to mature together and to be able to love that changed person in our lives and grow in the same direction. But it would no fault of either person if that change took different trajectories.
People change. Ideals change. Love changes. Our job is to decide whether we, being the person we are now, are still able to love that changed person or whether we need to make a change for ourselves.