August 23rd, 2005
a conversation with my future self.
If you’ve ever made a huge change in your life you might relate to the feeling of spinning, the whirling excitement, the nervousness, the not knowing, feet not touching the earth, the temporary lack of grounding, the building tension that exists right before you leap. I am down to my last few days here, the time before making the leap. My walk in the woods today was completely breathtaking, the changing light bringing the feeling of fall, the air a bit cooler than it has been. I cling to the safety of it as I sit on the soft bank, looking out over the water at the tall pines. I notice the water reflected on an overhanging branch.
And as I sit I have a kind of revelation, a simple thought that breaks through the tension. It is the understanding that if I cling to these woods, to this experience, (to my comfort) then I am not opening myself up to new experiences. different forests. different people. new ideas. growth. Even Thoreau spent a limited time cut off from the rest of the world on Walden pond. I smile as I think of myself a year from now having had many adventures, able to look back at things and know that everything was o.k. That all the fretting and fear of change was unnecessary.
How I wish I could have a conversation with that future self. That person would take me by the hand and say, “everything is as it should be. you can breathe, and be kind to yourself, and know that you are safe everywhere. no person or path can take from you the things that are important. your love of life, your creativity, your courage, your strength are with you always. even when you doubt them.”
I wrote to a friend recently… “the alternative is that we sit on the couch from here on in with the remote, eating chips, brushing the crumbs out of our cleavage, not giving ourselves new experiences, letting other’s tell us which products will give us meaning and what we need live a fulfilled life.”
there is no choice here. either we change, or we wither.