Over the past 24 months my life has been made up of some of the most significant changes I have ever experienced. I quit my job, returned to school, moved, had 2 nieces and a nephew with 2 more on the way, moved again, I have turned my friends over to time and marriage and distance and slowly began making new ones, graduated, moved again and bought a home, started a new job, began making new friends again, and now find myself in the aftermath. The steady stream of constant significant changes are now beginning to subside and I’m finally beginning to find a new “normal”, a new routine, and a new way.
We associate grief only with death, but in truth, we all experience grief from various situations and circumstances throughout life. I know that the experiences over the last two years have resulted in times of grief for me. I wonder now as I am settling into my new “normal” and finding my way if my grief is beginning to subside and I am beginning to resurface as the strong-willed, independent, and powerful self I have always been. Yet, I know that as I resurface I am not the same person I have always been. These past months have changed me in ways that I am still learning and understanding and growing from.
In what ways have I changed?
- I now acknowledge the uncertainty of life, relationships, earthly truths, and time. We never have stability no matter how stable we feel.
- I would say that in some ways I am much more appreciative and needy of my family, though I would say they probably have not seen or know that. Despite death, I suppose family is the one stable aspect of life that cannot be taken away; there is an overwhelmingly significant comfort in that.
- I am beginning to understand, in ways I never did before, the substantial value to friends. I would not say that I didn’t appreciate or value previous friends and friendships that I’ve had, I would just say that their impact on my life was not as underscored as it is now. Now I comprehend the value of friends in a different way than before. I also see those “casual” friendships I’ve always had to be much more significant than I had initially valued them and I am repentant of my lack of value. I suppose those casual friendships, those people that you may not divulge your deepest thoughts to, but those people who just know you; I suppose it is those people that help to make up the idea, the concept, and the feeling of home.
- I am, for the first time, understanding what it means to be from somewhere and to have a place to call home. Maybe for the first time I am learning what it also means to be homesick.
- As I discussed in my previous post, I have also become calloused. The past 12 months have afforded me the opportunity to see things that I had previously never dreamed of or could have imagined. And every day those visions are more prevalent and more normal. You do not see these things and walk away unaffected. I don’t dislike the person I’m becoming because of it, but I am very aware and try very dutifully to monitor the change these opportunities are having on me.
- I now have a significant amount of self pride. I have always been proud of who I was and what I was, but the events of the past months have called me out. They demanded I show myself and prove myself in ways I had always feared and desired all at the same time. In the end I met every challenge and proved me to myself. These events demanded I respect myself and I am thankful for that. I always have, but now I do in a way that will always give me significant internal strength and resilience.
- I have learned that suffering produces growth.
I frequently find myself feeling so very passionate about these past 24 months of my life. They have truly been a monumental time and cornerstone that has so deeply grounded me and proved so much to me. Yet when I really think about them, my challenges, my struggles, my time, it is not so much.
Every person goes on a journey, not that mine is anywhere close to finished, but that has just been a part of mine. Other people encounter such greater challenges and struggles than I have. I have not lost a parent or a sibling. I have not overcome disability or physical limitations. I have not encountered material disaster and had to start from nothing. I have not encountered financial insecurity or done without. I have had everything I have needed from the beginning of my time until now. I have been surrounded by an encouraging family, strong friendships, important casual friends, a healthy body, financial stability, a good car, shelter, and all the amenities that one needs to succeed in life. I was not born speaking a different language or to parents who had no education. I was born into a family that gave me every opportunity that I could have needed. I was given love, encouragement, food, an elite spiritual training, comfort, and steadfast familial friendships that have conquered all things. My parents and sisters have always championed my causes. There were no disadvantages enrooted in my journey, there was never a reason why I shouldn’t or wouldn’t succeed.
I suppose the only struggles I have encountered over time have been the internal ones: confidence, diligence, endurance, determination, passion, etc. However, the innate resources given to me by my family and friends strengthened me to succeed on my journey and surpass the doubts within.
So as I travel on this plane, suspended in the air between home and my new life, I look to continue on my journey. I look to resiliently continue on as life demands. I look to continue building new friendships and casual friendships and look to maybe call this new foreign place home.