when times are changing

Original photo by Marina del Castell

Original photo by Marina del Castell

I stumbled across an old note I had written and tumbled down a path of nostalgia of my high school days. When you’re able to see your old self right in front of you it’s like looking in a mirror but something’s off in the reflection. You know that it’s you and yet – you know that it isn’t either. You relive your memories, still as vivid and real as the day the happened, but you see them outside yourself, as a bystander or an onlooker. They’re still precious, but there is something fundamentally different about them. The span of time between becomes a barrier, impenetrable, untouchable. That’s the funny thing about memory. It both is you and it isn’t. There is something about you that is the same, and yet, there’s something in you that had grown and changed, pieces that you’ve left behind and added, pieces that have been broken and mended. No matter what, you’ll never be the same as you were then, or now, ever again – and it’s both terrifying and beautiful. More than anything, it’s just one brush stroke in the act of painting yourself.

We all have changing times. And when times are changing, sometimes we become afraid. Sometimes we try to run away. Sometimes we try to go back to something that we were before, but no matter how hard we try – we can’t. We have only this present moment at our aid; we must embrace it in its fullness. It is short. We can’t waste it. We have to look ahead to who we would like to become and, with this destination in mind, fashion ourselves as best as we can in the present. I can look back to learn from my past, from the me that is and isn’t me, but I can’t allow myself to become weighed down by how things used to be. My memory can either be my strength or my curse. It all just depends on how much power you give it.

When times are changing, you have to remember that the old was once new, and pretty soon, the new that we’re staring at will be replaced by something else and become old. You can approach the new with fear, and each day will be a battle, or you can approach the new with joy – and never will a day cease to be an adventure. See, I discovered something written in that note: you have to thirst for life. You have to long for the next moment and the moment after that and all the millions of moments after that. If you allow yourself to become lost in the moment you used to have, you’ll miss out on all the beautiful moments that you’ve been gifted. When the sun is setting, the day might be ending – but that is when the stars come out. Change isn’t just a part of living – it is living. ♥

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