I just got back home for thanksgiving a few days ago and it's been the most relaxing week I've had in while. Right now, I'm sitting at my kitchen table, drinking green tea out of my favorite disney mug, making my go-to toast and butter breakfast and contemplating how I want to spend my day. I can hike Joaquin Miller Park, run Lake Merritt, or continue flipping through HBO and catch up on new music videos on demand. Everything's exactly the same as it was before. The green tea is in its same plastic jar, the butter is still hard to spread and the park is still a short drive. Why then does everything feel slightly different? Is it because my sister moved out of the house and my other sister is in graduate school? Is it because my friends are preoccupied with their own families and lives? Partially. I shouldn't expect things to always be the same. I can't seek refuge from stress or alienation or loneliness from another side and know that I can go back to my old relationships and old self before I had ever left. As much as I am nostalgic for people and home and the way things were, or hope that friends and family don't ever change, the biggest misconception about crossing the threshold and returning from our journey is that we change.
Every year I'm a little different. Every year I wrap myself in a new cocoon of changes, learn and grow, and finally shed a part of myself. I don't see it or feel it right away, but as soon as I read something from my past or look at old pictures or hear a song I loved, I am reminded of how fast I change. Every year my collection of memories and ideas and interests and personalities grow while my sphere of past relationships shrink. Every year I'm left with all these pieces of myself and others that I can no longer share, but carry with me until my collection turns into a hoard of memories.
I think I've outgrown who I used to be. I'm trying to fit myself into small childhood clothes to salvage the remaining pieces of myself and keep them alive before they're added to the collection. Instead of holding onto every part of me, I know that the best thing to do is make room for new changes. There's a lot more headed for me and trying to return to the same comfort zone that I'm outgrowing isn't the best option. Ultimately, I must accept the fact that as I change, I wont see things or people the same way. I shouldn't hold myself back from change in order to keep the past alive. I must move forward like everyone else.