“I hope you don’t change.” Versus “I look forward to witnessing your growth” By Vanessa Baltodano

Just the other day I was guilty of eaves dropping in a conversation. In this conversation someone was describing to another person the words someone used to express how much they enjoyed spending time with them. This being a fresh new encounter, the person used the following expression “I hope you don’t change.” To be fair, I do understand what this individual was attempting to express which was how much they liked this person for who they are today and at the same time wishing that this is the same experience they can count on and expect every time they spend time with this person. I don’t know about anyone else, but my immediate physical response was a clench in the jaw and a tightness in the chest and gut. Yes, this was a triggering experience. This statement reminded me of past relationships with friends and lovers that made me feel suffocated and trapped where if I remained the same this would equal safety and consistency for the other party and a smallness of myself. To remain the same also meant that they didn’t need to change either and we could both remain small together. To me, the statement “I hope you don’t change.” equals a cage.  

I don’t claim to be an expert of anything but my own experiences and perspective. I AM an expert of my own self-reflection, self-healing, growth and expansion and with this expertise I now know what I seek. I seek expansion of myself and the expansion of my peers, students, family, and friends. I wish to grow and to never be the same today as I was yesterday. I wish to learn and have the strength and courage to change that which no longer serves me and stands in my way of my greatest potential. To all of you, I say this…”I look forward to witnessing your growth.” 

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