I often use the analogy of a perch when thinking of the people that come and go throughout our lives. There's only a limited amount of space on our perch (no matter what Facebook would have you believe...), and I truly value the people that sit there alongside me on mine. Of course, it's an ever changing thing. Some folk have been sitting there with me ever since I was a little girl, some have joined me at all different stages of my life, some have been taken away through no fault of anyone's, some folk have come and gone and come back again, some folk have been gently pushed and some won't ever find a space back beside me again...
Amongst the many reasons why you might lose people from your perch is the inability of some people to accept how you are after you've 'changed'.
You're still you, the very essence of you is still the same. But you're either on your way to becoming - or have become - an improved version of you. And some people will just find that version hard to sit with.
It's just one of those things. Some people - for many different reasons - find it hard to understand why we want to change, or accept us as we are after we've changed. Whether it's a change in what we want to eat or drink, or a change in our opinions about current affairs, or a change in how we keep ourselves active, or a change in how we socialise, or a change in our political persuasion, or a change in our attitudes to such things as inclusion and diversity, or a change in the way we're bringing up our children, or a change in how we want our home environment to look, or a change in the type of work we want to do - there will always be people around us that won't comfortably - if at all - stay with us through and beyond those changes.
Living the life you really want to live, doing the things you really want to do, evolving and changing in ways that are positive for you - despite the expectations of anyone else - is likely to make you feel more content, happier, more fulfilled and more confident. Suppressing your desire to make changes - to live in a different way, to lead a different lifestyle, to do things differently, to try a new path - is likely to make you, or keep you, unhappy.
Taking the plunge and making changes often isn't easy for many reasons, but stepping out of your comfort zone and making those changes is so very often worth it. Don't let the need in other people for you to stay the same - to be who they want you to be - be the thing that holds you back. If they respect and love you, they'll sit with and support you. They'll accept - and even celebrate - the changed you without judgement.
And if they don't, it's maybe time to question whether they should be taking up valuable space on your precious perch...