It’s true that change can be difficult, and that old habits die hard. Yet it’s surprising how quickly we can get used to something new, often without even realizing it.
After a week and a half in our new home in Georgia, my husband and I flew back to Minnesota to retrieve our other car and the rest of our belongings, and once again make the 1200-mile road trip to Georgia. While in Minnesota, I joked about how odd it felt not to have a single cashier, clerk, or server call me Princess, Honey, Sweetheart, or Darlin’ as we were being seated or waited on. I didn’t hear one twang, Southern drawl, or “Y’all,” and was surprised to realize I missed that. I didn’t think a week or two would be long enough for that to happen, but I guess I was wrong.
The flip side of that is how quickly things can come back to us, even after a great deal of time.
On our return trip to Georgia, we again stopped in Chicago to visit family. From there, we took a slightly different route than we did on our first trip, and this one took us down the interstate I used to travel on to get to and from college. This was back in the early 70’s, and it’s probably been close to 40 years since I’ve been on that road at all.
Seeing the names of the towns and cities we passed was a stroll down Memory Lane. Not only did they bring back thoughts of my college days, but many of them called to mind the names of classmates and friends I had back then. I thought of my three roommates as we drove past their hometowns of Peoria, Effingham, and Vandalia. Kankakee, Peotone, Champaign, and Mattoon brought other friends to mind. Some of them I haven’t seen or talked to in years. A few I haven’t been in contact with since graduation, yet passing their hometowns decades later brought them clearly back to mind. I enjoyed thinking of them again, even after all this time.
Change can be difficult, yes, and I think it’s for two main reasons. One is a fear of the unknown, and the other is a fear of letting go. Both are understandable. It’s natural to feel some anxiety about venturing out of our comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory, and also to feel hesitant about losing or abandoning what we already have, and know.
I’m happy, as well as relieved, to report that both fears are unnecessary. Sailing off into new, uncharted waters can lead us to delightful new discoveries. And we never really lose what we have. Memories of them may lie dormant in our minds for years, even decades. But they can return to us in an instant.
Ironically, it’s the change – that new journey, route, or adventure – that could be exactly what it takes to bring them back.
March 24, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017
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