This morning I’ve been brushed with the burden of nostalgia. I guess it has finally hit me that I’ll be leaving. That next Friday is my last day of work. That I’m flying to Vancouver on the 15th and settling in before I start work on the 19th or 20th.
It’s a thing to be grateful for, nostalgia. It means you’ve felt a lot of love, received a lot of good. It’s a something that reminds you that this time will be one you’ll never forget. A strange thing to hold on to a memory before it has completely left you and become one.
Any new beginning that we have comes with an end. Just like every end comes with a beginning. You experience one before the other, but they always work side by side. It feels like the start of a new life, one that maybe won’t come with as much difficulty and pain as the previous. One where a foundation has already been built, and now its time to build on top of that.
It’s different. It’s terrifying and exciting. And it’s new. Any sort of change is disturbing, but I’ve never been one who is capable of sitting still in comfort for too long. What I never realized is that even when you’re moving forward in the direction you’ve always wanted, it is still absolutely terrifying.
But what I’ve learned is that there are different forms of fear. Some are useful for the sake of our own safety and health, and others aren’t necessary depending on the extent to which we let them control us. Sometimes you just have to take a step back to understand what representative fear has taken form for. Sometimes it’s adventure. Sometimes it’s love. Sometimes it’s danger. But nonetheless, it is always change.
Fear likes to stand still and scream at everything. That’s its job and we should be grateful for its service because it is what has saved us countless times in our lives. But fear likes boredom. It would rather you sit at home and do nothing, never venture into new territories, never explore new things, never become. Always thank your fear for its service, but always acknowledge what it is holding you back from first to see if it is really necessary.
It’s not a bad thing to be cautious, but it becomes a burden when that caution is what drives you. For me, I’ve been in a state of poverty. Where having a stable roof over my head and groceries on the table was not a given. Nothing felt reliable and I had to be cautious of everything to be able to survive. Sometimes I find myself still living from that state, even though I’m not in it anymore. I still hear its voice hesitant to proceed at anything because I am always very aware that it can all be taken away at any moment.
That sort of thing will keep a person humble, but you do have to watch it to make sure it doesn’t make you stop living. It’s a crazy thing to look back on your life, who you were, and how you lived. It’s a crazy thing in comparison to where you are now. But it is different to reminisce and be grateful than it is to live from your past.
This is an odd time for me. It’s a concluding and a clean state. Like a new life handed to me right in the middle of the year. There’s a lot of unsettling feelings that come to me all at once, but I expect that it’s “normal”. To want to resist and leap forward at the same time. To want to stay and leave. To start new and to keep what is.
It’s both scary and relieving to know that you’re always one decision away from a totally different life. The root of all my decisions comes from this understanding that ten years from now, I want to be able to say that I chose my life, that I didn’t settle for it. It’s funny sometimes, odd even, when you realize that that is exactly how you’re living.