And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.
— Wendell Berry
I had dinner with an old friend and her husband on Saturday.
It was wonderful to see them. I had, well, stepped away from this particular friendship after the election, and I let that distance grow too big, and last too long.
At the same time, there were reasons for my distance, and I wasn’t ready to bridge that gap until recently. So we took advantage of briefly being in the same time zone to meet up.
It was so good to catch up, to find out how they have been and what they have been up to.
It was also an eye opening experience for me.
I’ve been on a journey of self-evolution and change the last few years. It’s affected my relationships, my jobs, and above all my sense of who I am.
I know there are threads that remain consistent, yet I also know that I am not who I was 10 years ago, let alone 40 (this is a very long friendship… :>).
As I sat there watching them across the booth in the restaurant, I realized a couple of things… first, they both remember what she ate on their second date. That was … well, goodness. I think that was 1995. (Wow I am old) So 24 years? I honestly barely remember where I even went on my second date with my husband – it all blurs together as the years pass and the individual events become less important in the grand scheme of things.
The other thing I realized is that they both still have the same haircuts and glasses as they did when they got married. 20 years ago.
I am all for consistency and recognize that certain things never change about people. (I’m also for frugality, and yes, glasses are not cheap, but… 20 years?) But. Part of me wondered whether this pointed to an overall tendency in them to, well, cling to the past. To the way things were. And whether that might not also be contributing to the space between us – that I was changing, and that is hard for others to fathom, to understand, and to accept.
I love when there are things in my life that I know won’t change. My parents, for example, are very, very consistent people. And yet. They change and evolve, too. They adapt, and grow, and have shifted their beliefs and their approach to life as the world around them has changed.
I wonder if this might be driving some of my challenges with my husband, too. But that’s a topic for another day – and probably more for my private journal than for airing here.
I know my evolution is continuing…and I know that will be hard for some people to accept. But we’ll get there.
Embracing the shifts, the changes, who I am now, vs. who I was…