Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend.
On Saturday morning I traveled back to my hometown in Pennsylvania where I spent time with my former stepmom (we’re still very close) and my best friend, Monica. We spent time going through old papers from my childhood, from report cards to silly fake newsletters I wrote. My all-time favorite document we found was an obituary I wrote for my fish when I was 10 years old:
So, that was hilarious. I have to be honest though, I’ve been feeling a little weird lately. My former stepmom is moving to Florida in three short weeks and this weekend was the last time I’ll see her while she’s living in Pennsylvania. While I’m sad she’s leaving, I am happy for her because I know she’ll enjoy living in Florida more than she enjoys Pennsylvania and its brutal winters. She’ll also be living near my dad, so it will be a “two birds, one stone” kind of trip when I visit them, which is more convenient than them being spread out now.
But… I don’t know. I feel sad. In my head I imagine my hometown is wiped out, atomic bomb style. A big gaping hole where a bustling town used to be. All of my immediate family, gone. Our old house, gone. All those things we used to do and ways we used to be, gone.
The more I think about it, though, I think my sadness has a lot to do with my entry into true adulthood. I know there is no magical line where you’ve become an adult, but let’s be real, I’m pretty much there right now: I’m completely self-sufficient, I have a “real” job, I live with my boyfriend in our own apartment, we have pets, we discuss someday buying a home. I’m living adulthood, and a damn good one at that. I do not regret moving to New Jersey and starting a life here (it’s the best choice I’ve ever made) but I always felt like if things didn’t work out, I had somewhere to fall back to… and I feel like that place is gone now. It’s ironic how I’m so grateful for my life now, yet I’m scared that something seemingly irrelevant and unnecessary is now dust. It’s unrealistic and unfair for me to expect everything in my past to freeze in place once I’m done with it… as they say, “the only thing that is constant is change.” That could be said about the world, and myself. I get scared that my past and “the old me” is gone… but really it is right here. It’s the apartment I wake up in, it’s the blood in my body, it’s the worries in my head. I am constant… and I am constantly changing. That’s life, I suppose. I just need to remember that there is no real “destination” except for the journey itself, and that the past was just a journey, too – not some concrete thing that is no more.
So, chalk it up to a quarter-life crisis if you will, but I’m just feeling a little uneasy lately. I’m happy with my life now, yet I fear the blank, open future and I mourn the past that I am glad has passed. It makes no sense. But hey, at least things are always changing and if I know one thing, it’s that this too shall pass. Life is made in this moment, not the next moment or the last one.
Now that I’ve sufficiently ranted, here is Monday Mantra #3, which ties into my “I am who I was, and I am who I will be” feelings lately:
Question: Have you gone through a “quarter-life crisis” or dealt with your family moving far away? Or, in general, how do you deal with getting older and entering unknown territory in your life?