A wise (and fabulously spectacular) woman I know reminded me this morning that it's important to "Always remember you're you regardless of the other people around you." We were discussing relationships and how positively terrifying they can be at times. Imagine letting someone else in, depending on them, caring for them, (deep breath) even loving them, only to find that they aren't about to stick around.
Then what happens? If we're lucky, we survive with minor chips and cracks. Like water that freezes in the crevices of an old concrete sidewalk, we expand with the presence of others. When spring comes and they melt away at the first sight of warm sunlight, we're left with cracks and holes. Cracks and holes that will eventually be filled in with moss and inevitably the frost of the next winter. Every once in a while, we crumble completely, leaving behind only particles of sand from the strong, solid block we were before. But no matter what state we end up in after a hard winter, we still exist. You're still you. Sure, the elements have taken their toll, but there is never a spring that arrives when we can't somehow make the necessary repairs.
Though through the winter, the ice seems adhered to the sidewalk as if they were one in the same, it is important to recognize that they are in fact separate elements. When the ice melts, the sidewalk remains. When a relationship melts, the most important parts are still intact. In essence, you're you regardless of the relationship you're in, the friends you associate with, the family that supports you. The people and situations around you will always change, but you can handle anything as long as you believe it's possible.
Often we forget this simple adage. We're so afraid of letting anyone in, in fear that one day the ice will melt and leave us broken beyond repair. We forget that one day, too, the pulverized particles of sand left from the crumbled concrete might wash away and be at peace at the depths of the sea.