There’s a lot of new things going on in my life, lately.
New apartment furniture. New job. New work clothes. A (relatively) new companion in life. A new watch on my wrist. A new purse to carry all of my new credit cards (now that credit scores seem to matter…). New favorite places to eat out. New dietary restrictions. A new return address label.
My daily routines are new, too. Mornings aren’t my own, anymore — they’re for snuggles and shared with someone who also wants a shower.
I’m in a new place — physically and mentally — that sometimes jolts me awake in those early-morning hours. I’m never going to wake up in Athens as a wide-eyed student anymore. I’m never going to wake up on Retreat Lane anymore. I’m not immune to the harsh reality of rent checks and utility bills and making sure you have enough groceries anymore.
There’s so much ‘new’ in my life that sometimes it’s difficult to remember who I was as a fierce-minded, ultra-passionate college gal.
Sometimes, she seemed like someone who I was always going to be. Sometimes, she seemed like she had it all figured out. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to her — what change brought about her disappearance from existence in the present.
I fought so hard to distance myself from the “journalist” and the good-girl student that sometimes I don’t even recognize all the changes that I’ve brought upon myself.
I recently had the privilege to introduce my website of writing and photography to a new friend. Someone I’d never met before, who didn’t know what I’d done before, who didn’t know how much my creative outlets propelled me through trying times — and for how long I’d kept it up.
“Wow, I’m really impressed with your writing,” he said. “You write really well.” Tears smeared my vision. “Thank you,” I replied, a little breathless. “Thank you very much.”
My written words were what used to introduce me, before I gained the confidence to speak up and profess my truth in voice. My written words gave me the inspiration for my first and longest-running career goal: an author. My written words used to be such a defining part of me that somehow — I realized acutely in that coffeeshop moment — I’d given up the ghost in my shedding of used-to-be self.
I took a tour back through my website after that meeting, re-reading a few of my poems, skimming through a few of my blog posts. Remembering how good it felt to process my varied emotions in the form of lyrical sentences. Remembering how helpful and mindful my monthly moments of writing were for me.
Just like how amazing I felt after taking up dance classes again in college. Just like how amazing I feel every time I start to create art in the form of photography. Just like how amazing I feel every time I sing along to songs I love in the car. Just like how amazing I feel to write these words to you.
In a world where everything is changing — ecologically and personally — I realize now the importance of maintaining a few core tenets of your inner-most self. The importance of remembering who you are — changes or no changes.
Change is a natural part of our evolution — but we don’t have to let change take away everything that is our identity. I believe now that there are some things that will never change, even if we think they have.