Transitions in life seem to have a complex impact on our inside selves, no matter how much we think we get used to them. I’ve been in a very transitional time of life over the past few years, with school and jobs and goals and living in different areas and getting married, and I’ve noticed through it all that there’s a part of myself that adjusts more slowly to these changes no matter how often I make them.
I think we all have something like that in us; the part of our hearts that feels nostalgic about memories as you finally are packing to leave that crappy apartment, or misses the people at that job you never liked. It’s even harder when you’re leaving one good thing for a different one, like when you leave a home and friends you absolutely love because your adventure has to lead elsewhere. There’s a good part of our heart that’s like a ribbon on a stick; it catches up to our decisions eventually, but likes to linger gracefully in the places life has taken us. I think it’s probably the same part that likes camping.
There is about to be some transition in my life, which is why I’m thinking about these things again. I’m finishing a job that I’m ready to be finished with, and moving into a new chapter with the seedlings of some opportunities I’m really excited about. But even though I’m eager and even relieved to be getting into some work and circumstances that fit me better, I still have that small part of me that looks around the empty apartment of the things I’m leaving and feels the need to hold onto something. It’s not any kind of hesitation or regret; it’s not me questioning my decisions or second guessing myself. It’s the part of my heart that wants everything to have some meaning; the part that tries to hold on to the hints of good and deep things that are hard to find in life.
I think that weird nostalgia is actually a really important part of who we are as people. We live with a sense of what a beautiful thing life can be, and we close chapters in our lives with the tension of unfinished artwork and unfulfilled promise. A normal part of being human is a strong feeling that normal life isn’t what it could be. C.S. Lewis even calls this feeling “a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience.”
Some of the hardest times of my life ended with a feeling of significance and nostalgia, and some of the happiest left me with the weight of how much greater and longer they should have been. May we grapple honestly with this tension, and let our lives be influenced by the desires we find there.
The new schedule will also hopefully mean more time I can devote to this blog and the good stuff I get to put on here, so this is a great time to chip in your thoughts about what you’d like to see on Foodie’s Arsenal. Any specific foods or types of cooking you’re curious to explore? Any thoughts or advice you’d like to hear some perspective on? I’m open and excited for new ideas as Rachel and I jump into some new things.