I’m about to move again, and I haven’t worked out how I feel about it yet (delayed emotions, anyone?).
I do know that nostalgia was hovering over my shoulder for a good portion of this week, though. The result was an extended session of #ThrowbackThursday (#TBT for all you cool kids), involving lots of scrolling through old Facebook pictures. So much has changed over the past few years that I often catch myself wishing, just a little, that I could re-visit certain periods of my life. Sometimes I think that nostalgia is actually a coping mechanism for moments of uncertainty about the future, but that’s another blog post altogether.
I remember a conversation with a mentor during my freshman year of college. I was overwhelmed and adjusting to all the differences college life presents – no AP or IB class prepares you for those – and in the midst of everything, I admitted to her, “I just wish I could feel settled in life.” She laughed kindly and said, “To be honest, I don’t think most people feel settled until their 30s.” That was not quite the answer I wanted to hear; twelve years is a long time to wait for anything when you’re only 18. These days, though, I see the truth in her words, and I’m ok with it.
There is something to be said for the semi-migratory life, even though it can be hard to leave behind family, friends, and old haunts. I don’t mean that each move is a new adventure, although it is. I mean that when you’re really familiar with what it’s like to be an outsider, to be “that new person,” it can help you become much more aware of other people who may feel lonely or homesick or unheard. You learn that good friends can come from anywhere, that struggling through tough situations with people draws you closer, and that some of the best friendships begin when you step outside of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to that person you’ve walked past dozens of times but with whom you’ve never had the occasion to chat.
Here’s to a new chapter.