Changes, Scars, and Progress

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Time heals all wounds. I have heard this saying my entire life. I don’t actually think this is the case. The benefit time affords us is distraction. The healing is an active process. It may not be a conscious or purposeful act, but under the surface scar tissue is being formed.

I have been experiencing  dramatic changes over the past year or so, most of them beyond my volition. In fact, I have fought against them with grit and desperation. I have had important relationships changed and sometimes dissolve, I have left my steady career, and I have started living the life of a traveller. I have struggled through attempts at regaining personal health and wellness. My entire life has turned upside down and inside out. Nothing is the same as it used to be.

Isn’t that what life is though? If we had to wake up and live the same day over and over again the monotony would be maddening. Change is a wonderful byproduct of experience. I want to believe I have been growing as a person, and the person I am becoming is a better version of me. I am not sure I can compare this me to the old me. I can say beyond question I am DIFFERENT. I have changed.

I am a little quieter. I have more empathy. I try harder to be diplomatic. I am branching out and learning about new things. I actively seek adventure. These improvements don’t underscore the fact that change is hard. It hurts. Sometimes it is debilitating.

I do not regret any of the choices I have made. Yes, I am scared of the unknown. I get nervous when I think about driving across the country to spend six months working in a specialty that has always been a bit of a mystery to me. The thought of snow (lots of snow) makes me wonder if I can handle driving in the winter wonderland of the Northeast. I am afraid I will look foolish and not know what I am doing.

It has taken me months to heal some of the heartache that came with leaving my job. I do still get to work there sometimes when I am at home, and that does help. Healing has not been easy. Some days the wounds were angry, red, oozing welts of bitterness and regret. Now, I can look at the wounds and remember they are there, but healed over nicely. Most of the time I don’t even notice the scars.

The changes in relationships have been a bit harder. These were deeply personal and painful breaks. Then I took a step back. Perhaps it was just change. Long distance friendships are hard to maintain under the best circumstances. Now, throw both people into their own private turmoil. Neither one has the ability to tell the other what they need, much less provide for those needs. Unfortunately, this could spell the end of an era. Maybe it will all work out in the end. I like to think so.

So, I guess the point is change is inevitable. It may leave you with wounds that need to be healed, but in the end it is all just progress. Today, I am content with where I am. I know I am on a grand adventure. I need to remember to enjoy the ride.

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