“You may wonder, ‘How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old?’ The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the ‘same old thing.’ What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river.” ~Steven Foster, The Book of the Vision Quest
“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” ~George Bernard Shaw
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” ~Anatole France
Courtesy of Yom Kippur, I’m currently on a little break from school, and I decided to visit the Athens/Atlanta area as a getaway from Florida, and to see people that I haven’t seen since I’ve moved. It’s amazing how things have changed.
Most obviously, I have changed. My attitude towards things have changed, and the comfortability that I felt with Athens annoys me a little bit. It’s not as good a fit as it was when I was here. I’ve stretched out, and while Athens is cool, it now feels like the shoe that you’ve started to outgrow. You can still fit, but you don’t have as much wiggle room, and you know that soon, it will be horribly uncomfortable- and damaging to your growth- if you don’t transition into a larger size.
This revelation, makes me excited and confirms my decision to go to Florida. Even after we make these decisions, and begin the process of growth and exploration, we still crave the familiarity of what we’ve known for so long. Since being here, I’ve found myself craving a return to Florida- where I have my own space, my own thoughts, and my own life- not so inextricably intertwined with others. It’s amazing how being in your own space allows you to grow, free from the ideas and expectations of others. It’s not to say that their aren’t expectations that I have to meet in Florida. I do. But it’s a different thing. And sadly, that’s the best way that I can describe it.
What has been comforting to me is that people that I know here have accepted me as I am- changes and all. Sometimes the people that we know seem to put us, and what they know about us, in a time capsule of their memory. What they recall of us is exactly how we were- and it doesn’t allow for us to be updated or relevant to where our life is now. The sad thing about that is that you can never truly be friends with people who do that, because after that point where they’ve capsuled you, you only exist in their memory. They can never fully acknowledge you for who you are presently and what you have become. Although they may know and acknowledge the changes that you’ve been through, they are mere asterisks (with a footnote reference) to your category in their life.
This trip has been beneficial for me because, in all honesty, it’s always good to get away. And sometimes returning to a place where you’ve experienced so many changes can allow you to appreciate even the smallest aspects of growth that you’ve had while you’ve been gone.
That said, I’m grateful for my extended family in Athens who has shown me much love…and I’m proud of myself for taking a leap of faith by moving to Florida and extending myself outside of my comfort zone. I’m proud of my growth, and excited to see what lies beyond this point, this visit, this time…
And because I couldn’t resist one last quote; one that I love and truly embrace:
“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin