One important thing I have learned in life so far is that life has its seasons. Like the earth has it’s seasons, it’s times of light and darkness, of life and renewal, and of subdued quiet and buzzing energy… Our own lives go through similar phases. I’ve been glad to have gone through many such phases in my relatively short life so far.
When I first moved across the country from Las Vegas to the Chicago suburbs, I was terribly depressed and hopeless. However, at that most unexpected time, I found myself uplifted by the kindness, generosity, and warmness of the people I met when I began living and working in Illinois. Before long, I found myself in a new relationship and surrounded by new friends, back in the swing of a social life more than I had had in a long time. I was in a season like Summer… with the new intimate relationship budding, maybe like Springtime a little as well… But it was a time of lots of action, lots of activity, new experiences, joy, discovery, curiosity, reward… It was a very happy, very warm time.
Slowly, however, for lots of reasons out of my control, things began to shift about a year and a half after I moved here. I’m sensitive to these subtle changes in the social and emotional environment around me, so I noticed changes as soon as they started happening.
Now, three years later, and I believe I have fully entered into a new season. I knew this was coming. I felt the turning start late last year, and here I am now in my first place all on my own, away from all the people that I know and love in the world. I can’t say what will come of this season, what fruits it will bear or what depths I might find myself in – but I know that whatever happens, it’s just another season of life and I have to embrace it for what it is,, because it too will pass and I will find myself in another season before I know it. And maybe it’s the pagan in me, but what good is passing through seasons if you’re not picking things up along the way, learning to carry you through your journey as you continue on?
Sometimes I try to figure out what direction my life is headed. Not in the sense of what I want and my dreams and desires… I mean this in a different sense. Of course we all have goals and things we work towards, but the fact is, no matter how hard you work on something or how well you think you’ve planned, things nearly never go as planned or even nearly as how you imagined. This is another thing I have learned. So much is out of our control. We live, day by day, and the universe pushes us along as it sees fit, with little or no regard for what we as individuals may desire. We’re just along for the ride, after all – each of us, precious little bits of something much greater that is evolving. I think this is good for us, if we’re open to it. We each have our own microcosmic evolution to play out as part of this greater thing, too.
So every once in a long while, I like to take time to look over old journals and old photos, and reflect on the past in an attempt to gather a sense of the general trajectory of my life. What was unforeseen that has greatly impacted where my life is now? What did I do to drive things in this direction? What things out of my control took place around me to shuffle me to this place I’m at now? How can I best utilize my current position, whether I chose it or not? What is there to be learnt right now? Where might I go next?
Life is a great adventure, even when it seems boring. The possibilities…
I haven’t left this part of the country since I moved here three years ago. I think in my 25 years, that’s the longest I’ve stayed so stationary. It kind of caused me to settle into a mindset… I got here, sat down in front of my window, and that view got really comfortable and it was hard to see or imagine what could possibly be around the corner if I were to adventure out and take a long walk.
But this summer I took a vacation finally, back home to California to visit my father. And this trip really opened my eyes again to the vastness of the possibilities of things we may experience and do in our lives. There are so many ways to live, so many ways to experience the world. It’s important, I think, to keep this in mind. And not only that, but to get a taste of these alternative ways from time to time, to see it and experience it. With the right approach, I think it can play an important role in keeping our internal momentum to live and experience life alive. At least for me. I got stuck when I lived in Las Vegas… I got a little stuck after being stationary here for too long, too… so I’ve decided that regular vacations are extremely important to my mental health and well being. Regularly getting out of the literal state that I’m in in my home country, and travelling to places where life is lived a little differently.
So, this marks the start of my journey through another season. I can’t say yet what this season’s theme is… Give me a few years & I’ll figure it out. All I know is that more often than not, seasons of high, productive energy tend to be followed by seasons of low or latent energy… which, like winter, can sometimes be productive in their own unique way.