Even if you weren’t ready for change.
As the sun sets, I sit on my deck and reminisce. I reminisce about my innocence as a child, when all intentions were pure and genuine. I remember when Autumn came, my friends would ring my doorbell and I’d come outside to play. We’d throw the football, play basketball, and we would always be tasked with raking the leaves. We would rake them all into a humungous pile, and after all of our hard work, we would get a running start and dive into them. The smell of Fall was in the air and everybody in the neighborhood was full of joy. Halloween would approach, and we went pumpkin picking. At the top of the pumpkin we cut a circle into it, reached our hands in the goop and scooped it out along with the seeds. As I write this, I can smell and feel everything about that pumpkin. We had big fires where we made s’mores and shared scary stories. The mystery of magic was so appealing. We dressed up in our Halloween costumes, and as soon as the sky turned dark, we’d begin our journey with our pillowcases. We were in search of the most candy a kid could possibly desire. Soon there after, the trees would be bare. All of the colorful leaves were gone, and the next cycle of life was beginning. Winter was approaching.
It was always a winter wonderland in Connecticut. Everybody was anticipating the first snowfall, except for most adults, and the joy it brought me as a child was unmatched. It didn’t matter if you were ready for winter or not, winter was ready for you. We have no control over mother nature, and that’s the beauty of it all. Soon, my friends and I would be jumping into the snow with our sleds and snowboards, fearless of any injury or problem. We walked up the street to a hill behind our town’s high school, and there was nothing but bliss in the air. When we got home, soaked and shivering, I could smell the wood stove burning and the hot chocolate brewing. These are some of my greatest memories that are forever locked into my heart and mind. Soon the snow would begin to evaporate. It was time for everything to sprout once again – and although Spring could be a muddy mess, it was symbolic for me that even though all the plants had died, they would blossom again. New life was born again.
Spring is and always has been a sign of new life and rejuvenation for me. Once again my friends were ringing my doorbell, and we were headed outside to play again. Football, basketball, tag – every game you could imagine. The warm air was starting to replace the cold and we hung our winter coats in the back of the closet, where they would sit and wait for the next year. Short sleeve T-shirts and shorts came out, and we were ready for Summer. Most of all, we were ready for our break from school. Soon enough the pools would be opening and we would be so excited to jump in. Summer was approaching, and the sun that gives us life would soon be beaming down on us harder than any other time of the year. Life and nature were blossoming once again.
Summer is here. The picnics and the barbeques were happening every weekend, and just like we blissfully jumped into the leaves in the Fall, we jumped into the pool. There was always such a wonderful feeling when you jumped into cold water on a hot day. You felt alive. Animals were running around scavenging for food and maintaining their nests. Bees were buzzing around and pollinating flowers. The smell of flowers and chlorine filled the air. Sweat dripped down our faces as we all took turns drinking water from the garden hose. (I no longer advise that.) Everything in nature was now alive.
For 26 years I watched these cycles repeat. Now as an adult, it seems that the joy I once had for all of these seasons no longer exists. Spring is a muddy mess. Summer is hot and humid, and my pale white skin can’t be exposed for longer than twenty minutes without being burned. Autumn brings dread, because winter is around the corner. Now when I get up early in the winter, it is not to anxiously see that school is closed. It is to shovel the driveway to get my car out, because work will be open. We will be working today. Somewhere along this path of mine, I lost my positive perspective. When I lost my positive perspective, I lost an important piece of myself.
A piece I want back.
You can’t give it back to me, and if you’re reading this and feeling the same way, I can’t give it back to you. But somewhere deep inside of us that child still exists. Yes, we have bills to pay now. Yes, we have responsibilities. We are not children anymore. Yes, yes, yes. I understand my days won’t be perfect. I understand I’m going to have to deal with things that ultimately I don’t want to deal with. I’m going to have to do things I don’t want to do, talk to people I don’t want to talk to, and address issues I don’t want to address. These are things we are tasked with when we become adults, and I’d be a liar if I told you that there aren’t some days where I want to hide from the world and abandon all responsibility.
But I don’t.
Why? Well the answer to that question is simple. Because I am learning that every day of my life is very meaningful. Why do I go to work? I go to support myself so I can provide for not only me, but my future family. These things are important to me – and the moment that I had a vision for my future, there became a purpose for every single day of my life. With that being said, I decided that I am taking a break from creating relationships with others, so I have time to create a relationship with myself. I hope that you’ve already done this or you’re planning to do this right now. I am letting a lot of people walk out of my life, and this is a very scary territory that is uncharted. I may never get these people back, I may never get back the woman I love, and most of these people I hold dear may never understand why I’m letting them walk out the door and shutting it behind them. I may lose them forever. But there is one thing I know for certain, and that’s the simple fact that if I don’t do this for me, I’m going to lose myself forever.
Change is good.
You must be wondering what the hell the seasons have to do with this and what the point to this long “rant” is. Summer and winter, the complete opposites of each other, are the perfect symbolism for what we’re going to experience in life. Nature will die, people will die, relationships will die. Sometimes the flame is going to smother, and just like mother nature, many times you will find that it is completely out of your control. No matter how hard you try to rekindle that flame – the wood is too wet, and the fire can’t start. Understand that you’re failing when you utilize your time and energy into something that just isn’t possible. Do not shed tears over this cycle of life, embrace it.
Just because you’re down, does not mean you won’t be up again.
Everyday new life will come into the world, new relationships will blossom, and new fires will begin. “I saw a baby cry, than seconds later she laughs. The beauty of life, the pain will never last.” Without pain, joy would mean nothing. Embrace all of it. Even if you’re at your worst place in life right now, be bold and say thank you for it. Because life will turn around, and when it does, your happiness will mean more to you knowing that you climbed out of a dark place to obtain it. Learn to love again like you did when you were a child. The cold winter won’t last forever. The sun will come back. The leaves will be back. The flowers will grow again.
Your flame will reignite. This is the cycle of life. Learn to love it for what it is.
The next time you’re stressing about work, a deadline, a death, a breakup – or anything that is causing you anxiety or pain, I want you to step out of the office and to an (innocent) extent, remember that the child inside of you is alive. Stop being a god damn uptight adult for just five seconds and catch a snowflake on your tongue. Nobody has to see you, but if they do, who cares? Yeah, their going to look at you crazy. That’s okay, because I look at them crazy. Some people are so tightly wound up that they can’t even enjoy their days that they have been blessed with, because they have also lost a piece of themselves. Life isn’t easy. But your perspective is what will determine whether you see a muddy, dirty mess – or new life beginning to blossom.