I imagine most people experience a fair amount of change in their lives, particularly in the early 20s, which is when most of us make the transition to adulthood. I believe most people also have conversations of the sort "remember when...", and have heard at least once during childhood and adolescence "oh, you've grown up so much". So people do experience change and realize that things have changed, but what I think few people do is think about how we realize that this change has occurred.
I have always thought too much about things of little relevance (evidence of this being most of my posts for The Odyssey), so of course that during this summer, when I began to notice many changes both in myself and in my home life, I carefully considered how exactly I started noticing these changes.
I was having dinner with my family when I realized all of us were drinking wine, and that I was eating a salad and enjoying it! I am so absorbed by my psychology internship that I actually forgot I have another major, which was originally my primary major. My little brother is a teenager now and has real, grown-up deep conversations – and we are so alike that talking to him is almost like talking to a mirror. I don't write in my diary that much anymore, and I can't remember the last time I fought with my parents. I have more patience, and apparently, I really like children.
The only thing the facts listed in this last paragraph have in common is that they are all phrased as if they are sudden happenings, as if my interests suddenly changed from history to psychology, as if my little brother suddenly became a teenager; when in reality these things are a process, and happened over considerable amounts of time. So what I realized, after endlessly pondering these and other changes is that when things evolve slowly over time, we only notice that they have indeed changed all at once, which can be overwhelming. When I realized these changes, I was so caught up in how different my life is now compared to what it used to be that I also lost track of all the things that have remained the same.
How I am still writing for this blog even though I no longer have the aspiration to become a journalist, how my little brother still laughs at silly jokes, how my father still tells the same stories, how I still love reading, how even though I don't write in my diary frequently when I do write about personal matters I find that to be very therapeutic (such as these lists about my life, disguised as parts of articles).
My point is, even though things change, they also stay the same. And a good way to prevent being overwhelmed by change is noticing how things are changing every day so that this change doesn't hit you all at once. Or maybe just accepting that change is part of life might be an easier path for those that aren't overthinkers like me.