You Shall Not Pass

I’m not someone who avoids change. I wouldn’t say I embrace it fully, but the thought of my life changing isn’t one that’s terrifying. Instead, it’s exciting. I accept and anticipate the fact that a year from now, my life may look entirely different. I may want different things, I may be still with Mr. P, with someone else, or single. I may be at a completely new company, freelancing full-time, living overseas, or in an opposite industry. I could be ten pounds lighter or heavier, I could be fluent in another language, I could be in love, I could be nursing a heartbreak, I could be…anything.

Our youth is good for encouraging spontaneity and the pursuit of change. Before I’m sanctioned into a marriage, busy with children, or at a point where money is more for saving and planning than for passing this month’s rent check and blowing dollars on brunch. Before my life as a Mrs or mommy begins, I get the chance to really take chances. To take the detour instead of the hard way, to date someone just for the hell of it, not with the intention of forever-and-ever-and-always. To leave New York if I wish or to stay. It’s a beautiful thing really – knowing that in any moment, with one phone call, with one glance, with one chance, with one experience,  with one connection, with one single something, life as I know it – could be transformed. I could look back at this moment, wearing Mr. P’s tshirt, eating leftover spaghetti while listening to a mix between his attempt at learning German via Rosetta Stone and some John Legend, and it all may seem like a distant memory, a universe that I’m not longer apart of, but a vision I’ll never forget.

My mother (and my friend K) always spew off the cliche promise, “This too shall pass” when I’m worrying that the now that’s not working seems unbearable. When I’m frustrated or feeling like there will never be anything better than this awful experience I’m part of, this seemingly hopeless existence I’m existing in – I remember that time passes, people change, and life will look different before I know it. The world will turn and so will my attitude, in a passing, fleeting moment that I won’t remember in a few years.

But while things will change and so will I – the me that I am at my core, won’t pass. Just as some graffiti artist said in surprisingly legible handwriting…

Life changes and we’re allowed to make mistakes that make us into better people. We’re allowed to stay put longer than we should, move this way or that, love this person and then stop, be who we want to be and then be someone new. But that heart that feels so fragile, that soul that continues to thirst for more, and that mind that won’t stop spinning both in the good times and the bad – those all stay the same. Sure, they’ll get tougher and stronger, learn how to endure and decide when enough is enough (or when a little more is better) – but they don’t pass us by.

Maybe that’s the trick of it all. If time tells us that it’s coming with or without permission or notice and we’re just all an object of the universe, meant to be manipulated and stand trial in front of the heavens – then our only responsibility is to keep ourselves in tact. To let life change, let people come and go, let everything around us crumble and fall, be built again, love and lose – but to not pass ourselves by.


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