Does Anyone Ever Really Change?


For as long as I can remember I’ve been a binge eater, drinker, TV watcher, dieter and exerciser. I’ve mastered the art of procrastination as well as perfected my ability to wrap everything up at the zero hour. After over a decade of therapy, I still have occasionally debilitating anger issues and I swear I will never be confident enough to attend a social gathering where I don’t know anyone. Given that I’m going to be thirty-five this year, all of this makes me wonder, will I ever get my shit together?

When you’re a kid, you have this vision of what you’ll turn out like as an adult. Mine was something similar to the character that Heather Locklear played on Melrose Place. I don’t know why I ever figured I would enjoy wearing short-cut tailored women’s business suits and working in advertising when I grew up; two things that at this age I couldn’t imagine hating more, but I did know that at some point, I would be as put together as she was.

Well that hasn’t happened yet. In fact, most of the time I feel incredibly out of balance. Despite my ongoing attempts to achieve a more harmonious existence, everything remains an extreme with me. Sometimes for weeks, I’ll take three hour naps in the middle of the afternoon. Then once I can’t live with myself any longer, I spend the next month going so hard in boot camp classes that I have to roll out of bed because my abs are too sore to support the weight of my upper body. If I’m not severely restricting my caloric intake, I’m stuffing my face full of junk and I often allow myself to spend a night out drinking heavily as a reward for being especially healthy during the days leading up to it.

I’m not even sure I’m all that different than I was in high school. I still watch TV like a teenager, laying upside down off the side of my couch with my legs sprawled everywhere. Do adults do that? I’ve never seen my parents do that, but then maybe they never did that in the first place.

I keep thinking that eventually something is going to click and I’m just going to be a normal person like I see walking around on the street. Maybe one day I’ll do yoga and be at peace without my mind forever racing with anxiety about what I need to do next and then riddled with guilt when I don’t do it. Maybe I’ll be one of those people you hear about who lost weight not because they went on a diet, but because they made a “lifestyle” change. I hate those people. If I ever start incorporating broccoli into every meal from this point on, that is simply a life long diet!

Even now when I picture myself in my fifties I’m ten pounds thinner and I must be financially stable because I’m never working. I’m almost always on a beach somewhere, smiling tranquilly after having just eaten a kiwi or something. When I ponder the future me, everything always seems to be in order but then I have to ask myself, when exactly is all of this going to pan out? Because this is it. This is my adult life. It’s happening now, yet I’m still all over the place.

Perhaps I would be better served coming to terms with the idea that growing up, in the way we thought of it when we were kids, never really happens. That there is no such thing as a “normal” adult walking around on the street. That our perception of all grown-ups to be completely happy and well adjusted when we were children has led to the unrealistic expectation that we would someday turn into one.

In that case, should I stop trying to so hard to change the things that I don’t like about myself and accept me for who I am? No more breathing through my anger or meditating through my anxiety or hating myself for staying out too late and doing things I shouldn’t have. Because honestly, I’m kind of tired of trying to be better all the time. Instead, maybe I should just roll with the kind of crazy I am and acknowledge that we all have our issues, these are mine, so why bother getting worked up over them?

But if I do that, do I then forfeit the chance that I may one day turn into that calm, happy woman who’s retired with beachfront property because I’m no longer trying to improve myself? I mean isn’t being unsatisfied what ultimately makes us strive for better things?

Either way, I’m sure I’ll stress the issue to death because that’s who I am. It’s either all or nothing with me. Always has been, always will be.


  • Lisa

    But we love you the way you are! I’m still you’re biggest fan! Don’t worry titi belly, you can be sprawled out on a sofa in figi just as easy as queens. :)

    • Kelly

      I’m working on it.

  • Oma

    Boy Kelly that is heavy!!!! you don,t need Therapy, you know yourself already. But……should you do need Therapy, come to me, I’m willing to straighten you out. because I love you. And just think how much money you would save.

  • Lisa

    *your :)

  • Vanna

    All I can say to that is I feel ya sister.

    • Kelly

      Yeah you should given we’ve basically mirrored each other’s stupid phases, ups and downs, growths and regressions for twenty five years now. So are we like, grown up yet or what?

  • Rochelle Migliore

    Damn girl. cut yourself some slack :)

    • Kelly

      This post wasn’t meant to be all that serious. Maybe it’s coming off that way but it was more just a commentary on how I feel like we make all these strides to change things about ourselves that we don’t like but at the end of the day we’re mostly still the same people we were in high school. So cutting ourselves some slack is exactly what we should do. Now I’m going to hit the gym for a super spin class because I spent all yesterday eating cookies.

  • Lorraine

    I think you’re right at where you’re supposed to be. When you’re true to your own heart, good things happen. Do what makes you happy (eating cookies), accept who you are (crazy–but then again, who isn’t?) and just know that even the most put together woman, ISN’T put together. There are lots of women who are great at smoke and mirrors.
    Someone else’s idea of happiness or accomplishments aren’t going to be the same as yours. You don’t have to change who you are, your perfect as is. :)

  • Michelle

    Calm down people, she just doesn’t want to eat broccoli daily. Jesh.

  • Beedee

    Just humming that Paul Simon ditty… “Still crazy after all these years …” and meaning it as a good thing! and have you seen Heather lately???

    • Kelly

      Who’s Heather?!

  • Señor Blanco

    I would make the distinction between changing and growing. You’re all growns up and you’re all growns up.

  • Patricia Sullivan

    Ah, Kelly! This is all I can say…… Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or thinking about what you are doing or thinking.
    Never compare yourself to anyone else.
    Follow your own path.
    When you do that, invisible doors will open to you.
    Do what makes you happy.

    We all struggle to find that balance. Find your own bliss. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
    My other words of wisdom…. help someone else and you help yourself.
    I know you since you were a little girl. You have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to offer

  • Lloyd M.

    Given your Mitochondrial DNA you are destined to be beautiful, lovable, and yes, a little off center. But, in this crazy world those are wonderful attributes.

  • Gabriele

    Given your Mitochondrial DNA…you’re a blast to be with, and a little off center!!! (Thanks Lloyd, for the ongoing support! Ha! Ha!) If you were that perfect woman in control of her life, the rest of us would be so very uncomfotable hanging out with you…because the rest of us all have our issues. This way we can all relate to each other, over a glass of wine or a joint, and just laugh our asses off! Screw those people who are in control. My friend, Susan always asks…”But are they happy?” I always say no…because they don’t have Kelly in their lives. But we do! Hurray for Kelly…and the rest of us grown ups waiting to grow up! Love ya!

  • Jeff

    I haven’t read the post yet but this girl must go to town when she writes Mississippi. Didn’t miss a sign opportunity to dot an i with a heart.

  • Jeff
  • Kelly

    OK OK! Jesus! I love myself!

    • Jeff

      But do you really?? I think we should keep talking about it.

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  • Urban cholita

    Yes. Exactly.