when people say “you’ve changed”

with celebrity comes the propensity to reinvent yourself.

if i become famous, would i still…

  • talk to ____?
  • care about ____?
  • eat at ____?

it’s probably true that some people, upon achieving higher social or economic status, do change.

but in general, it appears the prospect of changing who we are is offensive.

a few examples from our friends in the rap business:

drake

What am I afraid of?
This is supposed to be what dreams are made of
But people I don’t have the time to hang with
Always look at me and say the same shit
They say “You promised me you would never change”
“You promised me you would never change”

— The Resistance

childish gambino

Crowd at my shows more mixed than Rashida Jones
Haters say I’m changin’, but I haven’t changed at all
Indie kids saying that I’ve ruined all their favorite songs

— Difference

jeremih

When I was so young before I could remember
I would always treat my gang like family members
Even when I changed, a n**** never changed up
I always bring my friends, my friends, my friends, my friends up

— Summer Friends by Chance the Rapper

the resistance

last month i read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

it’s a brief but exhaustive guide to dealing with what he calls The Resistance.

you know, the voice inside our head telling us we can’t achieve greatness; that we should find another show to watch, and eat another scoop of ice cream.

perhaps the most interesting part of Pressfield’s manifesto is when he says The Resistance can take the form of other people.

“resistance by definition is self-sabotage. but there’s a parallel peril that must also be guarded against: sabotage by others.

when a writer begins to overcome her Resistance… she may find that those close to her begin acting strange… they may accuse the awakening writer of ‘changing,’ of ‘not being the person she was.’

… they are trying to sabotage her.”

–pg 19, Resistance Recruits Allies

sound familiar?

what this means

remember that time you got into a certain university, or left your hometown for a bigger city, or quit your job to focus on a new career?

a pattern is emerging. we’re:

  • capable of great things (albeit not without struggle)
  • proud of achievement (but then criticized for it)
  • offended when people say we changed (and feel compelled to debunk)

i’m siding with Steven. he adds:

“the reason is that they [the criticizer] are struggling, consciously or unconsciously, against their own Resistance. The awakening writer’s success becomes a reproach to them. If she can beat these demons, why can’t they?”

maybe drake is the same guy who played Jimmy on Degrassi.

that would be a better world indeed.