Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Slow Shift in Person...

It's official. I missed two days of blogging in August and broke my streak. It's incredible how quickly life can get in the way, you know? I decided that I was going to blog every day for the month of August, and not one week in I had already fallen off the wagon. Too bad.

I think the thing I want to talk about today is how much I've noticed a change in my priorities since leaving for Greece. Before going abroad, my life was a mess. I was struggling with balancing my schedule, hanging out with the wrong kinds of people for the wrong reasons, and I lived a fairly hedonistic lifestyle. It was something I really wasn't happy doing but continued to do anyway. I think that when you're sad, it's much easier to look for quick ways out and find small, short bursts of intense happiness instead of learning how to live a balanced life and find deep, sustained pleasure in living for the long haul.

Somewhere along the way in Volos, I figured out how to live for both today and tomorrow. And what's more is that that mentality has stayed with me since moving back to the US, which is something I'm proud of. I'm happy right now even when I'm not so happy (if that makes any sense), and I have found ways to derive meaning and satisfaction from living for long-term goals I've set for myself. Even if I stumble along the way, which I often do, each fall seems to be from less and less a height and it becomes easier and easier to forgive myself and get back up.

There have been lots of ways in which this has shown itself to be fruitful in my daily life. I've seen my circle of friends transition and my relationships with these people get deeper and more meaningful, I've noticed myself be able to handle more intense situations in much easier and less stressful ways, and I'm generally more enthused about doing the things I know I should do to be the person I want to be. I'm finding real joy in waking up and studying the Bible, going to church, not participating in my old lifestyle, etc. It's really rewarding to me, and the fact that I find it rewarding in turn makes me feel even more rewarded! It's a beautiful thing.

You know, I don't really have any recollection of when the change occurred within me or what made me shift my priorities. It's really strange. I expected something like that to be a big "aha!" moment in my life and suddenly I would change, but no. I find that I have casually drifted into this new lifestyle like slowly walking away from the shallow end of the pool until my feet no longer touch the ground.


Anonymous said...

Funny thing is, youre not done changing. I recently had an experience with change in terms of looking at it from a distance.

I had a friend in high school that was very close to me. We knew we had our personal differences, and others were shocked to learn we were friends... because of the obvious differences.

But we managed to be the closest people!

Fastforward... we went through a season when we couldnt be friends. Years later we rekindled our friendship BECAUSE life had changed us. About three years down the line, mind you we had been speaking through e-mail because he was in Afghanistan... we met up again... and circumstances, fate, whatever decided for us, that we had no place in each other's lives.

Location, experience, and culture, had changed us both! For what we believed indefinately.

We gave up on each other.

But if change is the constant, is it not so... that we would be different people at age 40, 50, and 60... that we would have much in common again?

Life is like an elastic band. I would not tell you that you could not celebrate in your new joys or thinking. But even that is a temporary place of sorts. New challenges arise, collectively we can get wiser with life...

But dont think all the petty, hedonistic, or miserable things have left you entirely simply because you scaled a mountain or two.

This IS the journey... and we are met with new joys and different breeds of grief. Life expands, and we grow, sometimes we change for the better, sometimes the worst, and sometimes we change... not for bad or good... but just a stretch of difference... enough to put us at odds from where we used to be.


secret agent woman said...

I have to agree with Anonymous, that life will continue to surprise you with changing.