It's captivating what becomes of people. People you've known for most of your life. People you grew up with. People who mentored you. I was a kid once and I firmly believed that the friends I had then would remain with me throughout life. I was wrong, but not completely. I do have many friends that I've known for many years and would hope to keep them for many more. I also have many friends who have become acquaintances at best and some that now have nothing to say to me, nor I to them.
Change happens; I understand that. Gradual change is much easier to comprehend, maybe because you can see it coming and prepare yourself. People change along the same lines, some slow, some fast, some so fast it's hard to watch. Change is also hard to watch when it seems to be for the worst. It's umbearable, almost, when a bad change happens so fast it floors you. Even worse is the thought that the person you knew so well did not actually ever change, but just gave up the act, the facade, the person you knew so well.
At the same time, change causes reflection, at least with me it does. I remember the person I knew back when most times were good times, and bad times were few. I remember the foundations of the friendship, why we were ever friends at all. The adventure. The lack of expectations. The ease with which we could fall back in line after a long time apart. The give. The take. The generosity of time and assets.
I also turn to introspection, introreflection. I realize that if those so close to me can fall prey to whatever it is that demanded such a turn for the worst, then I too have that same potential. To fall. To hurt. To break my word, and forget promises. It's this perspective, me watching friends fall and realizing that I just as unexpectantly could fall, that seems to be almost a blessing. A simple awareness of my own vulnerability that I hope will act as prevention.
I am not scared of change, in fact, I suppose I change daily in a slow movement headed towards a better, wiser version of myself. At least I hope so, because it's the opposite that I am scared of; a sudden unexplained betrayal of who I am.
In this reflection I learned that most of all I hope to be exactly who I present myself to be. Never more and nothing less. I want my yes to be yes and my no to be no. I want to do right; I don't want to do wrong. I want to be defined by truth, loyalty, and consistency. I want it to be said of me this; "If John said it, then it is true." I want to be the same person to all people - always me. I want to be known as a true friend, a great father, and a faithful husband to one woman. I hope that the clarity and consistency of me will be so evident to those around me that they will recognize otherwise and call me out.