I travelled home during the festive season, and I got some shockers. I saw some of my formerly little relatives and couldn’t believe my eyes, because they have grown so much. Some are now taller than I am.

Then the ageing folks wouldn’t let me be. They kept commenting on my beards. Some strained to recognise me, and when I introduced myself, they’d scream in our dialect, “Is that you? Ahh, you’ve grown so much beards!”

Anyway, I’m not here to tell you about my journey home. I just want to remind you that change is constant, and growth is a necessity in life. So if you are growing and changing in the process, you don’t need to feel bad or apologise to others for it.

You see, as you grow, your priorities change. Things that once mattered to you no longer move you. You need to understand that this will affect your relationships too. As your priorities change, the things that once formed the basis for your relationship with certain people may no longer matter, and that will affect those relationships.

Now you no longer want to sit for hours and gossip about men. You don’t want to talk about the latest fashion trends, what Binta said, or what Joromi didn’t do. You’re concerned about stocks, investments, business plans, proposals, higher education, etc. The people you once rolled with are still where you guys used to be, still always talking about what you used to talk about. You no longer enjoy their company and you’ve been staying away from them. You feel bad about it.

It is okay. It’s okay to grow. It’s okay to change. It’s okay to want something different. And it is okay to grow apart from some people. Stop feeling bad and don’t apologise for it.

As you keep growing in life and your priorities change, allow your relationships to evolve and also form new alliances. Let your priorities drive your conversations. Let your conversations birth new relationships. Let your relationships fuel your new goals and lifestyle.

Keep growing. And always remember: You owe no one any apology for doing so.