We Are Not Who We Once Were (Hopefully…)

Everything seems the same and yet everything is different.
A death, a divorce, a disagreement, a loss of any kind, a pandemic…
A move, a new hobby, a good book, a puppy, a new relationship…

Any time we experience something new in our lives (good or bad, big or small) it affects us and changes us – changes our perspective.

The things we though were important at 19 might not be so any more. The things we thought we could never live without 3 years ago and not brought us crumbling down once they were gone. The things that we once thought could bring us comfort seem to leave an empty feeling when examined once again. The things we thought held treasured memories are no replacement for what truly lies before us.

We are always told that our best memories lie inside of us and not in things. So why do we hold on to items anyway?

Sometimes it’s the lost ideals of a girl who doesn’t know what (true) love is – letters that you once thought held the definition of romance (but looking back that was a less than ideal relationship to memorialize).
Sometimes it’s the dreams of a child and to let go of those things means to let go of that dream.
Sometimes it’s the desperate hope of a person trying to save their marriage…If you could hold on to that one thing, then maybe you can hold on to that person (no matter how futile it ends up being.)
Sometimes it’s the stack of birthday cards you can’t seem to part with, because they’re a reminder that you are loved when you don’t feel that way.

Although, sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes we hold on to things to remember what it is that we are not supposed to do. We hold on to the messages that someone sent blaming you for what went wrong. We hold on to something broken so we can try to figure out how to fix it. We hold on to unfinished projects because one day we might return to them. Sometimes we hold on to programs or tickets from an event to try to capture the fun and the excitement.

And while we hold on to these things, we are also letting go…

We are letting go of the person that came before. We are letting go of the good and the bad so that we can (hopefully) become a better and more loving person.

With every thought we have, with every conversation we share, with every moment we experience – we are changing. By thinking about our lives, we are changing. By considering how someone else feels, we are changing. By experiencing heartbreak, we are changing. By thinking about what it is that brings us happiness and fulfillment in our lives, we are changing.

Sometimes it’s by shining a new light on something from our past that we are able to see it for what it truly was. And in shining that light, we are able to uncover new truths – new truths about the past, new truths about ourselves, new truths about where we want to be and where we are going.

I know that I am not the same person that I was 3 years ago. I am also not the same person I was even 1 year ago.
I know for certain that the girl wearing rose-colored glasses and searching for storybook love when I was 19 has become a woman looking for someone to share her life with as a partner – someone to grow and experience life with.

The lessons of life can be hard, but they can also be oh so beautiful.
I know that I am a life-long student…I just have to remember to see the lessons in front of me, to remember that I am always changing and always growing.

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