As we get older and get more experience in life, we change in many ways. Clothes, hairstyles, the music we listen to, our ways of passing time...all of these things evolve over time. Sometimes, if you haven't seen someone for a long time, you may not even recognize them when you see them again. Or maybe you recognize them, but you see them doing and saying things you never would have expected them to say or do.
Old friends, however, are different. If you were very close to someone when you were growing up, years later, no matter how much has changed, you'll still share that connection. There is a reason for all of these behaviors, and I describe it as an iron statue covered with clay.
When we are born, our persona, our soul, our psyche, however you want to refer to it, is a soft ball of melted iron coated with clay. Early on in our lives, our experiences shape that iron into a statue, the basis of all of our standards and values. It is our drive and motivation, our essence, our true self. This iron statue, however, is still covered by a thick layer of clay.
The clay surrounds our statue souls like a mask, and it is only to a chosen few that we peel it back and allow the statue to show through. To everyone else, we simply mold the clay into a shape that is pleasing to them. Hairstyles, fashion, the latest trends...all of these are simply a way of molding the clay.
In time, of course, some of the clay gets scraped away. We become our own person, we take a stand, we become brave enough to show our true selves to the world. We still leave a layer of clay in place, however. The statue shape is less obscured beneath it, but we are still able to change our appearances as we wish.
The statue does not remain hidden to all, however. Like recognizes like, and those whose statues are similar in shape to yours will seek you out, regardless of how much clay you show on the surface. These people become your true friends, your true loves, the first ones for whom you can remove the clay. If you lose touch with one of these peple for years, when you meet again, no matter how different you may appear to be, you will still share that connection you had before because you were never looking at the clay at all. You saw the statue.
It is a rare person who reaches that point in life where they are comfortable enough with themselves to discard the clay entirely.