I have changed…

Mrs. Hughes

“Life’s altered you, as it’s altered me. And what would be the point of living if we didn’t let life change us?” ~Downton Abbey

Call me pretentious, but I’ve been pondering the fluidity of everything lately — something amazing and scary and wonderful about living in New York City is the paradox of constant impermanence. I feel like the sands of the city are constantly shifting. Shops and restaurants move in, and within a year, there’s something else in that space. Even things that seem like permanent, invincible institutions — Colony Records, FAO Schwartz, Cafe Edison — somehow quietly put a small closing sign in the window and the next thing you know, they’re empty, waiting to be turned into the next thing. It’s sad. But it’s also such a big aspect of life in general. And there’s no sense in being afraid of it. Change is inevitable. Like progress, or arguments in comments sections, or beautiful kitchens in Nancy Meyers movies. Inevitable. It’s okay to be sad to see something go, or tentative about what’s coming. But paddling against change is exhausting and pointless. Roll with the punches. Let life change you. It’s okay to move with the waves.

Moving Right Along

Moving Right Along
Photo by Danny Lyon

 

My mother said some wise words to me recently — “If you spend all your time looking backward, you’re going to smash into something!”
I’ve been struggling with moving on from a chapter of my life that is now in my past, and it’s so hard to focus on the future when you yearn for The Past so achingly. No matter what terrible things The Past contains, its safe. You know where its going to go. You can prepare for anything that will be thrown at you, because you know exactly what’s coming. It’s also so easy to look at The Past and remember it as a warm and rosy place.

But the mechanics of the universe dictate that you cannot reach back and grab the past, nor can you drag it along with you. Despite Falkner’s famous quote, the past is past. But he’s right about one thing — it isn’t dead. Yes, it’s beyond your reach, but that does not mean it isn’t alive.

As we drove home that day, my mother continued spinning her wisdom — “The point of glancing back is that what has gone before informs who you are moving forward.” The past continues to live as you continue down the road. Just as you cannot grab ahold of it, you equally cannot cut it off as though it never, well, passed. No matter how painful it is to have in your trail, it is there, unmoving, and if you turn around to face the future, you may be surprised to see a few familiar landmarks.

Keep your eyes on the road, because there is no going back, but you could end up somewhere even better than you could have imagined.

Alexandra
xx