on change

Let’s pretend you’re reading this in the beginning of September, because that’s when I wrote it and forgot about it until now. I hope a lot of it still applies, I think it does. 

Tonight I went to yoga. This morning I had a moderate panic attack.

Let’s rewind.

I’m a summer girl, through and through. You’re like, ok tell me something I don’t know. Summer is an escape. Always has been, always will be. In high school I fled for the Bay State as soon as the clock struck 2:10 on the last day of school, leaving everything and everyone in my wake. For three all-too-short months, I beached it up, worked it out, made some money and fell in love, far away from my actual home. For three months or so, I left life as I knew it, poof, gone to Eastham in the blink of an eye, to a place that has always felt much more like home than my actual home.

For three all-too-short months, you  could and always can count on finding me at Nauset Light Beach; down the stairs and to the right, past the second life guard chair. For a few summers, some of the best summers, just beyond the big black rock. Where the cell reception is terrible and the days are endless, you can find me moving my beach chair with the sun, first east towards the Atlantic and eventually, when the day is done, west towards the dunes, watching families pack their things and haul themselves up an unlikely flight of stairs single file, one by one, the day is done.

A lot has changed between now and then. By ‘then’ I mean, those endless yet all-too-short three months of just summer and by ‘now’ I mean, a routine I’ve come to master, 48 hours to soak up the sun, 7 efficient days in the office and as many vacation days as I can spare before the first autumn leaf falls. Between now and then I graduated high school and then college and then began my first job. I moved from my parents house to a dorm room in Philadelphia and from that dorm room in Philadelphia, a home in Boston..err..a few different homes in Boston. I’ve made friends and lost touch with friends and I myself, between now and then have, inevitably, changed.

In the summer I run. Not literally as in feet to pavement, who do you think I am, but figuratively, as in I run from people, from places, from decisions and choices, from responsibilities and electric bills and messy rooms and deadlines and dirty dishes and reality. I run to a place that is familiar, easy and safe and also pretty nice to look at. In this way and many others, I am so very lucky, that’s not lost on me; to have a place that I can run to and somewhere pretty okay to return to (I’m lookin’ at you, City of Boston).

Because when you run, both literally and figuratively, you typically return to the point at which you began. Only now, you’re a bit different. You’re recharged and exhilarated, you’re tired AF and you’re out of breath. You probably don’t feel it right away but you’re stronger now and you know that. For those few miles, you put it all behind you. You’ve been challenged and you’ve changed and when all is said and and done, you’re right back where you started, only this time you’re a stronger, healthier, happier you. You ran away and you came back better.

In a lot of ways that’s what’s happens when summer is over. When you’ve stopped running and you’ve returned right back to the point at which you began. You’re refreshed but you’re tired and, inevitably, you’ve changed. You might not feel it yet, but you need to know it.

And so this morning, September 1st,  I had a panic attack. I feared that change, in myself and in the seasons. The change in my routine and in my surroundings. I didn’t want to face the end of summer and the real world ‘stuff’ that came with it. I wasn’t ready to stop running.

But tonight I went to yoga. I dragged myself away from a very intense season 4 episode of Grey’s and went to yoga. When I started class my mantra was ‘change’ because I knew I needed to face this thing head on. By the end, the word I heard repeating over and over in my head was ‘accept’. ‘Change’ was happening whether I liked it or not. I realized in that class that I wasn’t the only one feeling this anxiety and this looming dread of summer’s end. Everyone seated around me was transitioning too, into new apartments, new jobs; a new season. We all felt change, in ourselves and in our surroundings. Feeling a little bit sad and a little bit excited. A little bit ready for change and a little bit not at all. And all we could do was accept it.

Change is inevitable. Seasons come and go. Fall arrives after summer and we stop running. We walk slow, we watch the trees change color and we burry our noses beneath much too large scarves and bundle up in winter jackets. We are changed and we are better and we accept that the only way to move is forward, until summer begins again, and for three all-too-short months, we can run.

PS I basically never write about food anymore so UOAP needs a new name. How do we feel about Refined Ramblings? ‘Cause basically all I do here is ramble and I feel like I ramble well, therefor, one might say those Ramblings are Refined. Corny? I don’t know.