There’s a proverb I recently read that states, “Change is the breath of life.” I don’t necessarily like cheesy quotes, but there is some truth in this. There comes a period in life when the only thing constant is change. There is no backwards, only forwards.
As a twenty-something (I really hate that term), I’m finding my world shift around me the in the most drastic of ways. I’ve always been the the type to cycle through different interests and passions, but within the past few years, I’ve felt myself stabilize.
Travel. Books. Adventure. These are the things that make me feel most alive.
When you move across the world, not only do your surroundings change, but so does your mindset. The place where you grew up isn’t home anymore. Yes, your roots are there, but your life is somewhere else. Your feet are planted firmly on the ground, without uncertainty. You have established a life for yourself. There are people that love you in your hometown, but they must understand, it’s time to move forward.
Going back to visit is an odd sensation. People are waiting with eager smiles to hear about life overseas, but you find that even with practice, words won’t do it justice.
Family members ask, rather urgently, “Do you think you’ll move there? Permanently?”
The answer of course is yes, but only in time can these sorts of plans be revealed.
I think my bags have been packed from the day I was born. After seeing so much of the world at a young age, I felt somewhere deep down that I was supposed to be somewhere else. For years, I thought I’d end up somewhere like New York. I didn’t know I’d find love and a home in Dublin, Ireland. Now that I’m there, in that great Somewhere, I feel myself exhale for what feels like the first time in a while.
I worked hard to be where I am now. I should celebrate once in a while.
Coming back to your hometown after living abroad is always an adjustment. Your world feels smaller again. Yes, there are the ones that love you unconditionally, but things change. Life doesn’t stop for anyone. At some point, even the ones you loved struck out on their own. It’s your turn, too.
I don’t believe that your twenties are your “selfish years” like that popular Facebook posts asserts. At this age, we care deeply about our loved ones and the places we leave behind. It’s not that we are selfish, it’s that people my age who uproot themselves so wholly and completely want a life that’s their own.
Personally, I want one that’s not defined by who I was years ago. I want to be the person I was meant to be, even if that means putting distance between the present and the past.
The place you called home for years isn’t home anymore, and that’s okay. You may feel like a stranger in your own bedroom. It’s a sign of life moving forward. Nothing is meant to stay the same.
One of my favorite quotes from my favorite book reads, “the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Let yourself grow, and don’t hold back.