Throughout my life, I’ve encountered many different people and they each have played different parts in my life.  Some of those people were only in my life for short spurts of time.  They were temporary.  Passerbys I guess you could say.  Other people stuck around for quite some time.  They were a big part of my life and it’s hard to picture my life without them.  Now, a few people have been in my life since the get go and they’ve managed to continue to play a big role in my life.  The interesting thing though is that all of these people are different.  They come from different backgrounds, are of different ages, have different personalities, and played different roles in my life, but they all taught me that change in a person is inevitable.

Every person goes through life.  They have experiences everyday and those experiences, no matter what, impact their lives.  For some, the change is conscious.  It’s the result of a person’s decision to make a change in their life… most of the times for the better, but sometimes for the worst, too.  For others, the change is subconscious.  It becomes routine and before we know it the changes are engrained in us as if we had been born with them.  Mostly, these changes are positive or, at least, we hope they are.  People grow, they mature, and they learn.  People experience happiness, sadness, and pain.  This inevitably creates changes.  The fact of the matter is that you are not the same person you were ten years ago.  Yes, you still have some characteristics and tastes that are never going to go away, but you’ve still undergone some big changes in your life.

The problem is how do we distinguish the old you versus the new you?  Or should we even distinguish them at all?  You’re still the same person, but should the present you face the consequences that the former you earned?  It’s tricky, isn’t it?  Say the old you did some not so nice things, but the new you is making a conscious effort to be a better person.  Is it reasonable for others to judge you for what you once did and assume that you still have those traits within you?  Honestly, I don’t know.

I know of some people who have done some horrible things in their lives, but now are truly trying to better themselves.  You wouldn’t even believe the things they once did if you met who they are today.  However, I do know that these people’s pasts still weighs heavily over their heads.  They can’t seem to shake the negative stigmas they associated with themselves so long ago.  Others assume that they’re still who they used to be and that they shouldn’t be trusted or respected, but I think this is where second chances come into play.  People have to be given a second chance to prove that their positive change is genuine.  There are people in my life who have wasted their second chance and may never get another one from me.  If anything, they’ve shown big changes in their character, but only negative ones.  On the other hand, there are quite a few people in my life who have used their second chance to prove my first impressions of them wrong.  They’ve shown me how positive they’ve become and I’m honestly proud of them.

Like I said before, all of these people are different and they’ve taught me a lot.  They taught me that change is going to happen whether we like it or not.  Sometimes the change is bad.  It creates distance and maybe even pain, but it isn’t always like that.  Change can be a good thing.  They taught me that change is not only inevitable, but that sometimes it is even better than what you ever expected.  However, sometimes to be able to experience that positive change second chances are sometimes very necessary.


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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