Ha. Ha ha ha. This is a “dry humor” laugh, if you couldn’t tell. I have a story for you all.
First things first, a confession: I am notoriously AWFUL at room-cleaning. I try to justify it by saying I work best in a messy area, but really, deep down, I like things tidy and organized and stacked into neat little piles. Tied up with ribbons. And raindrops on roses and whiskers on…well, you get the idea.
I suppose I would actually be pretty dang good at tidying things up if I didn’t get so distracted by every single mildly interesting thing I come across while sifting through the crap. Today one of those “things” was my journal that I used from third grade to sixth. Immediately all hopes of immaculate order being restored to my room were abandoned as I sank back onto my bed to flip through the pages of my sweet innocent youngling mind.
And I came across a rather witty quote (yes, I was full of those). On page 67 (I number the pages of my journal so I can reference other entries) I was talking about inspirational quotes, and I had listed one very common one: Follow your dreams. My footnotes for this quote were as follows: “I never really understood this one. It’s the same thing as “hold on to your dreams”–do your dreams move? Must you catch them? I think a much better quote would be Live your dream, or, Make your dreams come true.”
Ah, how little I knew then!
This was before, of course, I had even the slightest inkling that someday we would move away from the house in which we dwelt. I had my whole life planned out in Wyoming, baby, and did the thought once strike me that I wouldn’t graduate high school there early and then fly off to Brown the next year? Nope. So, you see, I had a very linear concept of “dream”. I didn’t at the time understand that they could morph or vanish entirely, only to be replaced with something I would have neverevereverneverforevernever imagined.
But all this happened.
Obviously, when you move to a different environment, the experience itself, as well as your new “habitat”, shapes you as a person. If you’re on your way to a successful life already, you might get lucky and it just kinda refines who you are, but if you’re still in your formative years, sometimes it can decide who you are at the moment is scrap metal and melt you down and form you into something completely new.
And you’re left doubting that you’re really yourself anymore.
I know, I know, this sounds like a bad chiclit book or something. But that’s only because the scenario has been wrung out and relived by so many people that we’ve whitewashed it. It’s a painful experience, for sure, but now it’s half the plotline of every major “moving away” book or movie and we don’t even stop to think that it still actually happens.
Okay, I’m rambling philosophically. You guys probably skipped over half this post. Give me a chance; the point of all this is coming shortly.
So, “me” now is pretty much who you guys are used to on this blog. I’m the girl who’s a little bit quirky, is obsessed with the color orange, is writing a novel, has declared her cockatiel her soul mate, and likes to take pictures of her “weird vegetarian food”. She’s also working on her running so she can join the cross-country team this year and she’s a bit of a nerd when it comes to school. (She’s even got the square glasses and braces.) Sometimes she manages to be organized and somewhat decently put-together, but other times…no.
Would you believe that that “me” was pretty much created in the space of two years? Pre-move, I was still a nerd, a writing fanatic, and stunningly disorganized most of the time. But until we moved I was bigger on dogs than birds (shocking, I know!), I liked yellow, pink, and lime green (?!), I shied away from sports like the bubonic plague, and I never. ever. ever. thought that I would become a vegetarian. (There’s a sign, just below the “Welcome to Wyoming” one, when you’re coming in from Montana, that plainly states “You’re in cattle country–eat beef”.) Especially one who shunned foods like Twinkies and Dairy Queen Blizzards and, God forbid, those Nesquik uber-pink strawberry milkshakes from the convenience store after Taekwon-do practice.
So sometimes I wonder if this is really who I’m supposed to be. I know for a fact that pretty much all of these mega personality changes would not have been implemented had we not moved. Sometimes I get a sick, churning feeling in my stomach when I’m blogging about my “weird vegetarian food” that I’m not being true to myself.
But, in all honesty, I think I am! Myself and all my dreams have definitely morphed A LOT since we moved. And I’m
okay with that working on being okay with that. I guess the bottom line is that I was happy then, I’m happy now…I have to accept that something, whether it was God or destiny or this-that-and-the-other (still working on sorting out my religion) knew that I should move. That it was supposed to happen. I have to have faith that if I just continue on the path that I’m on, even though I was dumped onto it rather unwillingly, things will turn out as brilliant as I dare hope for.
Sometimes you have to carve your own path.
Sometimes you have to make like a sunflower: bloom where you’re planted and tilt your face toward the sun. And then you’ll stop seeing the shadows.
Hopefully. If you’re still doubting yourself, then, aw heck, what can you do but drink a green smoothie? 😉 Shot with my crappy point-and-shoot, no less…