By: Amanda Kasper, Guest Blogger
"It’s good to be scared. It means you still have something to lose." -Grey's Anatomy
I once lived in an apartment I described to people as quaint, adorable, and with character. Truth is it was perfectly imperfect, well, outside of the wicked landlord and the bed bug episode. It balanced homey and modern, sunlight and shadows, quiet and boisterous. I felt safe there, even though it was more rustic than modern, even though things didn’t always work the way they should’ve.
For a long time, I traced the representation of my life back to that apartment, back to that chapter in time. I felt like when I lived there, I was most me; and I felt like when I left there, a part of me stayed behind. Until recently, consciously or unconsciously, I held tightly to the pictures, the moments, the memories because they were the last things I could remember that made my heart sing.
Today, I realized that I haven’t completely lost that girl, or those feelings. While I am entirely different than I was 5 years ago, I’m finding pieces of the old me that have grown and flourished while I wasn’t looking. In fact, some days I feel like they’re fitting in quite well with the newer pieces – both the smoothed out, well worn pieces, and the tougher ones, the ones with still sharp edges and awkward angles.
I’ve begun to learn that we can’t ever go back. Too much has happened, too much has changed. We can’t go return to who we were, but rather, we can take the good of what we are now, and combine it with the strength and bravery of who we used to be. Think of it as upgrading your current self from version 2.0 to 3.0. As we each commit to this journey, together or apart – I pledge to fight not just to live, but to overcome. I will not fight just to get back to an inferior version of myself.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how each of us are truly in our own ways perfectly imperfect. For every flaw, there’s a strength. For the ways we may sometimes perceive ourselves, we are surprised and often honored by the ways that others may see us.
What has been stirring in my mind for a few days now is that embracing the change is much larger than fighting against it. In this chapter of my life, that’s one of my main focuses. Not all change is bad. It always takes getting used to, but that doesn’t mean for one second that it’s not worth it. It might be terrifying, or exhilarating, or maybe it even feels neutral, but I think it’s only by embracing the matter of change that we can upgrade to 3.0; that we can both find and rediscover ourselves.
Amanda Brooke is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer; seeking space as a patient advocate, public health guru, lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513, blogs about life with a Masters Degree, a chronic illness, life, love and following her dreams over at Welcome to Midnight.
Featured image via pozzieboy.wordpress.com