After several long months, winter is finally, almost gone. And, as the seasons start to transition to longer days and higher temperatures, I'm going through several changes of my own.
The past three weeks of my life have gone by slowly, and quickly: a paradox, I’ve been told, that often accompanies big life changes. Through it all I’ve been writing — but not much else other than emotionally overwrought journal entries and, embarrassingly, one poem that will remain unread until the end of my days.
Change, big or small, wanted or unwanted, can be difficult. And while I’ve never considered myself someone that was keen on public emotion, something about being honest with those around me while going through a difficult time has been a source of comfort. And with that comfort, also advice: the first heartbreak is always the worst, but no break up is a mistake; changes at work don’t have to be sad, but instead can be opportunities; I am stronger than I think and, most impactful of all: change affords the most striking kind of clarity and perspective.
I suppose there’s something to be said for writing about change while in the midst of it. I’m not at a point where I have any answers — in fact, I probably have more questions than anything. And it’s those that I’ve been taking time to explore.
Surprisingly, something that has been helping is more change. I’m brunette for the first time in my life, after being blonde literally forever and platinum blonde for the last eight months. I acknowledge that hair color is absolutely arbitrary. You can cut it and dye it and it always grows back. But there was something right in deciding to change a thing — my blonde hair — that has been a part of my identity for so long. How I look, who I am, is completely in my control — and that is an empowering reminder.
Somewhere between college graduation and now, I’ve come to the realization that change is similar to nostalgia — fundamentally bittersweet. Acknowledging change requires acknowledging time that has passed. And behind the sadness that almost always comes first, is a happiness or fondness for what has come before. I suppose it’s serendipitous, if cheesy, that the seasons are (supposedly) changing. I’m doing my best to ignore the last remnants of snow in anticipation of the warmth that’s to come. And there is so much more fun and so many more happy memories to come, a small piece of excitement I remind myself about when the scales tip slightly more in the way of sadness than fondness.
I recently learnt that the older you get, the shorter the years seem because each year that passes makes up a smaller and smaller percentage of your life. At first, that thought terrified me. But in a way, it was comforting. I wondered if we treat change in the same fashion. When people say “in the scheme of things”, the “things” encompass more and more over time — acknowledgment of a life being lived. Does change seem smaller the more of it you encounter? I’m starting to think it must. And yet that doesn’t make it any easier.
So for now, I’m letting myself feel — the good, the bad, and everything in between. I’m letting myself fall apart just a little bit, and I’ll see who I become once I put myself back together.