Friday, August 31, 2007

Under the bridge~

Transitions. Changes.

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


Voyager said...

Your son and mine! My kid hated change so much he cried on valentines day on his way to school in first grade. There was to be a valentine's party, and it was a CHANGE in the usual routine. Which may explain his choice to start college only five miles away.
Good luck with the new school year.

Janice Thomson said...

I enjoyed your thoughts on this Ruth.
I too like change...what I don't like is when I'm in limbo in between changes. Right now I have absolutely no idea where I will be living in four weeks time - and that tends to be a wee bit stressful. I am looking for a place within my budget but that seems unlikely here as it is very expensive. So that means many miles from here and the thought of moving yet again is the stressing part. I'm clinging to the soft silent core within but meanwhile the outer part is having a heyday LOL. Ah well never a dull moment.

Ruth D~ said...

V.~ We live in a college town, too. He cold have walked to college, but chose to go an hour or so away. Time will tell.

Janice~ It would be so easy to say all the right things to you, but why bother? You can say them to yourself. :>) We know all the answers, but it's the application that is tough, isn't it. Once you are settled in again, you'll wonder why you were stressed, but now . . . I totally understand. Deep breaths, lots of faith and keep busy.

rain said...

I love this story - I hope when my kids leave that they re-enter my house in the same way. It sounds like you've sent your son off intot he word with everything he needs...

leslie said...

Well said, Ruth. I'm in a bit of a limbo right now, too. It's the second September that I won't be going back to teach. Last year, I had the wonderful excitement of knowing that I'd be heading off to Italy, England, and Wales at the beginning of October. But this year, not enough $ to do that again. I've been looking for a part time job to help pay off a few debts but have had no luck. So I'm leaving it in God's hands and will try to get a few students to tutor after school. During the day, I will continue working on my book. If something comes along (work-wise) then I'll consider it. In the meantime, well...I just take a day at a time.

Ruth D~ said...

Rain~ From the sound of things, you'll get hugs, too, when your son returns.

Leslie~ That day at a time theme is turning up all over. Something will turn up for you, I know that for sure. I can say that without the anxiety you feel though, because that's the way it works. :>)

fotoface said...

beautiful photo of a beautiful place

Ruth D~ said...

Fotoface~ Thanks. that place used to ba an old mill. It is beautiful there.