these roads will carry me home

By February 26, 2018

I originally unpublished this a few years ago, but lately, have found this post comforting as I encounter a new set of changes in my life that have proven difficult to process. A gentle reminder that the only thing constant in life is change, but frightening as it is, always leads us one step closer to home. 

- Republished from March 2015 -

I was driving down the highway today in a very good mood, because for the first time this year, I was able to throw on my favorite pair of white Birkenstocks and not have to worry about frostbite. As I stopped at the red light, I marveled at the warming weather and how other people had also forayed out into the world in their sandals as well.

At this point, I realized, while looking at the melting snow, that this may be one of the last times I would see the seasons change in Winnipeg again. One of the last times I would experience the freshness of Spring, the warmth of Summer, the cozinesss of Fall, and the chilly Winter nights I have grown to love and hate in the city I grew up in. And I'll miss it, because each season has held something special for me, a memory, an experience, a feeling.

Feeling extremely reflective about my past, I realized that my life was also divided into seasons, some which I remember vividly, others which I don't. All of them have something in common though, and that is that in accumulation, they have all built me up to where I am today. Starting with my Summers spent digging through the wild-fields with my neighbors, to my primary school years playing grounders, then an awkward phase in middle school - each of those seasons holds some sort of memory. 

What these seasons also have in common is that at some point in time, it ends, and a new one begins.

I feel like right now, I'm on the edge of one.

This last year was a season for me. Finishing University was a big step, almost moving to Toronto but deciding to stay in Winnipeg was a big step, starting my new job was one of the best things that has happened to me, and entering into a new faculty has brought along a plethora of rich experiences that I could have never otherwise fathomed. 

With that also came new relationships. I met a whole entire group of new people whom have enriched my life in many ways. Reconnected with some old friends, and deepened my relationship with some new ones. These people have been my rock. From random pho runs, to late nights spent writing and editing applications, and baking nights coupled with sides of much needed conversations, this year has flown by because of them.

Because these people have been such an integral part of my life this last year, when my friend told me some news about himself, I flew into a fit of shock. For a while, I couldn't pinpoint exactly what made me feel so uneasy, but after a brisk stroll over to the Forks and a much needed conversation over hot tea with Gary, I realized why. For me, I fall very easily into a comfortable routine when it comes to my life. Therefore, although I enjoy change and I like change, before it actually happens, I try to resist it as much as possible. My life this last year has been mix of routine and a few constants which I rely on, and what shook me the hardest about his news was that one of the biggest constants in my life may cease to exist in the same way it currently does.

Does that make me uncomfortable? Yes.

When I first heard the news, all that was going through my mind was that the routine that I had gotten comfortable in, and my relationship with a person that took up such a huge chunk of my last year was going to change. Then it hit me, that come May, everything else would change, and that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Am I ready for this?

Every single season of my life has usually been a smooth transition because I've maintained some constants while changing others. This time it will be a little different because everything will change. This makes this end that I am arriving to a little difficult, and I think that that's what shocked me the most. His news made me realize that this was just the beginning.

I'm pretty resilient when it comes to change, once it happens, but before it does, it's always an emotional struggle. Transferring from Queen's to the University of Manitoba was like that, having my relationship change with a really close friend last year was like that. But after every season, I look back and realize that perhaps it's not change I fear, but rather the uncertainty that comes with each change.

As I drove back home tonight on a road illuminated by beams of light, I realized that my life was also a path, and each road I traveled on was different from the rest. Some would be dark, some would be light. Some familiar and some strange. But what it comes down to is that in order for me to reach my final destination, I needed to pass through these roads whether I wanted to or not. And what I realized was that with every turn, each road changed in ways I could not predict.

None of those roads trapped me, or left me in a situation that I could not escape from, in fact, despite the uncertainty, they only brought me closer to my final target. These changes weren't bad, they were simply different. And just because things are different doesn't mean they stops or cease to exist. On every road, the same lights exist and the same signs, different enough to be noticed, but similar enough to be recognized. My constants might not exist in the same way, but they will still exist in some way.

As I approach this next road in my life, I must be diligent in reminding myself that change is not to be feared, but instead, it must be embraced. Recognizing that, this end will be a little bittersweet. I'm going to miss random karaoke nights, sassing my co-workers, and warm fellowship nights with my sisters, but I'm also excited for the new things that are to come.


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