Friday, August 31, 2007
Under the bridge~
Why do we resist inevitable changes? Why do we hold on to what we have at the moment instead of embracing future possibilities with open arms?
I've been told it's fear of the unknown that makes us cling so tightly to what we are familiar with.
I typically love change. It invigorates me. Most change that is; I could do without some of the midlife physical changes, but even those I am getting used to. With a little tweak in my mindset, who knows? Maybe I'll finally learn to accept myself as I am now, without comparing myself to the way I was then-- in my prime.
But apart from all that nonsense, I welcome most change. I've taught for 34 years in the same town. I would have gone crazy if I hadn't changed schools, grade levels, subjects, and classrooms through the years. I know teachers who have been in the same room, teaching the same subject for decades. I would dry up in the routine sameness.
But people are different; what is dull and boring to me is comfort and security to another. I realize this as I've watched David make the transition to college. He's been away four days, and he's home for the Labor Day weekend. He chose not to stay on campus, although some did.
He walked in the door with a smile and said, "I haven't had a hug in days."
"Well, me either, " I reminded him. " From you anyway," I added.
He is a homeboy, really. He's been away for longer than four days, but the end was always just around the corner. Now he's looking way too far down the road, and wondering how he can be away for four years.
He's already gone off to Boston to bring his girlfriend home. I'm sure a hug from her will do wonders to cure what ails him.
David never liked transitions. When we took down the Christmas tree when he was little, he'd cry, When I moved furniture around, he'd complain that he liked it the old way. Starting school each year was tough until he got comfortable. That's just who he is.
I think maybe it is the process of transition that is the hardest. Moving toward something new is a little like walking under a bridge from one place to another. During the walk you are in a shadowy, unfamiliar place. But once you make it through and look around, you start to appreciate the newness, and soon it becomes familiar.
Some of us walk under the bridge quickly; Dave feels his way more hesitantly, I think. But when he's comfortable, he's off and running.
And for me, my summer is coming to a close and I'm back in school after Labor Day-- a transition I've made 34 times. Even now it's with mixed feelings. Summer is so short and I'm not quite ready to move on. I'm dragging my feet under the bridge.
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. -- Alan Cohen