I was feeling very nostalgic today and wanted to make a post about it. I’ve been reminiscing on my high school days a lot.
For those who don’t know me very well, my fiancé and I have been together since 2015, which was the summer before our 11th grade year. With it almost being 2023, we’ve gone through quite a lot of change and growth together as a couple and as individuals.
I will be the first to tell you that it is not easy. Our growth was not linear, and it was not always good growth. There were definitely growing pains as the definition of who we were began to change.
It’s really easy to get lost in what was and wish for things to stay the same. It would be so nice to keep the same goofy, protective, bright and friendly boy I started dating at 16. I’m sure he thinks how nice it would be to keep the cute, shy, generous, and outdoorsy girl he started dating at 15.
The key phrase that makes that a problem is that we were 16 and 15. We did not know the things we know now, we didn’t have that maturity and experience that we have since gained. If we don’t make room for change to occur, change will make a path. Change is part of the natural circle of life and is necessary for us as humans to continue on our individual journeys.
While I miss the notes we used to pass, and how he used to ask to kiss me, I love that we just instinctively hold hands now. I love that when we’re together, some part of us be it an arm, shoulder, or hand, is always touching the other, always keeping that connection. He doesn’t need my permission to kiss me because we have established longterm permission. He knows my subtle quirks, and I his. I know when he needs a moment to stop being happy all the time and just be with his feelings. I now give him the space that at 16, I was not going to give him.
All of this sappy nonsense is partly to work through my own nostalgia, and partly to give some guidance in writing your characters. It’s not just your plot. It’s their arc. Their growth. It’s not going to be linear and it won’t always be good growth. The important thing is to ensure that the factors are in place for your character to grow from what they start as into where you want them to be. Change is an unstoppable force but that doesn’t make it bad. In fact, change is quite good. It is a natural part of what makes the world as it is. As a writer, I feel so lucky that I get to demonstrate that change with my novels. You should, too.
Much love and warm wishes,