You’re Allowed To Change Even If Friends And Family Don’t Want You To

By Rogan Smith |
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Growing up, I remember watching TV interviews of rappers and actors who had seemingly gone from obscurity to superstardom overnight. As they shared stories of their journeys to the top, many of them would admit that their ascent had not been without challenges.

Many often complained that while they were happy to be living their dreams, travelling the world and making boatloads of money, there were always people in their families or back in their old neighbourhood who constantly made them feel guilty for making it out of their circumstances.

Almost all of them admitted that they did everything in their power to silence those critics and assure them that they were, in fact, the same people they once knew. They wanted them to know that they hadn’t changed. The thing is, they had changed, and there was nothing wrong with that.

How many times have you heard someone close to you say, you’ve changed?

It’s usually delivered in an accusatory tone and typically comes from someone uncomfortable with your growth. Uncomfortable with who you’ve become.

Some people can’t handle when those closest to them start to grow. They may start to feel insecure and left behind. So, because they can’t keep up, they guilt trip their loved ones or friends, accusing them of getting too big for their britches.

There will also be those who will try to make you feel guilty about wanting to make positive changes in your life.

If you used to go out clubbing with your friends, but decide to stay at home more and spend time with your family, they will try to make it seem like you’ve fallen off. If you’re over 40 and want to go back to school, they will tell you you’re wasting your time. If you used to hang out on the block all day drinking and doing drugs, but suddenly stopped and started applying yourself, you might be accused of being soft.

If you’re someone who cares what people say or gives in easily when pressured, you might remain in the same place. It takes a very brave person to go against the grain.

You should never feel guilty about wanting the best for your life. It’s your life. You should be free to live it how you want.

If your longtime friend is not as attentive as you’d like and doesn’t spend time with you despite your pleas, then end that friendship and move on to better.

If you’re dating someone who doesn’t stimulate your mind or feed your spirit, move on. Why continue to coast in an unfulfilling relationship? If you work as plumber, but have dreams of going to law school, do what it takes to make it.

But, do not allow anyone to make you feel badly about wanting the best for your life.

During your personal journey, you’re going to lose a few friends. Family members may stop coming around or may badmouth you in your absence. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but that’s the way it is.

You have to remember that life is about change. Times change. Seasons change. The weather changes. Those who cannot keep pace may find themselves left behind. Sometimes, you have to walk away.

Rogan Smith looks back

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