Lately I’ve felt this sense of wanting to reconnect with the past. This is piggy-backing my post about my ex so I guess that is fitting. But it’s more than that – it’s with old friends from college and with myself. I’ve grown into someone I’m proud of and wouldn’t want to revert to who I was five years ago because I’ve learned so much. Yet, at the same time I keep finding myself revisiting, well, myself — and the person I was five, ten years ago. The person who had really big dreams and high hopes and believed almost anything was possible, and believed in the goodness of the world and people.
Perhaps ignorance really is bliss because as we all get older and start becoming more aware, I think fears set in. Whether we realize it or not, fear is such a propeller of not taking actions. Yet, back in high school and college, I was encouraged to dream big. And now, between trying to keep up with the pace of my life, the hectic schedule of my job, and everything in-between, sometimes I wonder where dreams fit in to the equation.
I’ve felt this overwhelming sense of wanting to comb through my old books from my writing classes, my notes, old photos, old journals, my bucket list from high school, and call up old friends. I don’t know why I have this feeling but I know that it’s important to listen to it. While we’re in constant growth, there’s a steady part of our hearts and souls that I believe truly stays the same. Maybe that’s why some say people don’t change; I don’t really know.
But what I do know is the same things I’ve always been drawn to — my passions and the things that drive me — still remain. I value people and quality time with them, learning, traveling, and new experiences. And right now, in my 8-5 job that has become an 8-6 job with working on the weekends, I feel so far removed from all of that, and ultimately, from myself.
Sometimes I convince myself that life’s too short, I’m young enough, and have no attachments (other than a car payment) so I could just quit at any time and do whatever I want. But a rational side of me kicks in and says otherwise. Sadly, a lot of that is driven by money (which I hate to admit). But if I am working so hard at a job so that I may afford to live (and like, paycheck to paycheck live), but I don’t feel like I’m actually living then what is the point of that job? This “what’s the point” is often a thought I have during our countless meetings, where people seem so passionate about a new marketing plan or new initiative and all I can think is, is this what life is really about?
For me, the answer is a big hell no.
I feel like I always need to qualify things like this post because I do feel blessed and know that these issues aren’t life-threatening and that there are so many people in our world hurting from much worse things. But what I will say is that I do think it’s human nature to question ourselves and our lives and where we are going.
We all “grow up” but I think it’s normal to sometimes want to revert to who we were a long time ago and surround ourselves with the people who knew us “back when.” I think we all, at some point, wonder what happened to those big dreams we had in childhood or adolescence when it was encouraged to think outside the box. As we become adults it feels like we are encouraged to think within a box of what society deems acceptable, like deal with the daily grind of work or have kids before age 30.
I’m sorry, but when did the the words “grind” and “work” really ever have a positive connotation? I don’t know about you, but I want to be on fire about my life and what I’m doing. Not sitting here writing about how I wish it was different. But I also hope that with these sorts of ponderings, I can encourage and empower people who have these same feelings to know that it’s okay and they’re not alone. At least I hope I’m not alone in this.
We’re all told to live in the present, and not look back toward our pasts and not worry too much about what is to come. Mostly, I think this is sound advice. But I do think that there’s a value in looking ahead and figuring out what your heart is calling you toward and looking back to see how that resonates with the dreams you’ve dreamt or who you were two, three, or seven years ago. And then, with a combination of those, putting some tangible actions into practice in the present is what’s important.
I guess I say all this to say … there has to be a reason a longing to revisit the past has set into my soul. Sometimes it’s hard to look back at, but I’m finding more than anything that it’s brought me comfort.