Things change. I think a lot of our time is taken up by wishing things were back to how they were before, when we thought we were happy, or fighting to maintain the status quo. Change is hard, a lot of the time. Sometimes we get stuck in the way things are, afraid of what change will bring to our lives, even if we know they will bring growth. It's just hard to face that unknown factor in our lives - maybe something we can't control.
The illusion of control over our own lives is important, psychologically, to all of us. Because, really, none of us can ever have complete control over any one moment of our lives. But if we can go on thinking things will happen the way we want them to, we can at least keep our sanity.
Reminiscing is often composed of wishing things now were like they were at a "better" time in our lives. For me, these times I wish for were often not the rosy, happy experiences I remember them to be. But it's characteristic of human memory to see the grass as always having been greener at another time than now. Also, people are much more likely to look back at their teenage and early adulthood with that longing eye and wishful heart. I guess I should be making a lot of memories right now, huh? Things I'll look back to in the future with that longing sigh of reminiscence. But I've had the tendency, myself, to look back at things from my teenage years much more, with that longing gaze.
What I really miss right now is James and I in our early relationship. When things were so fresh and new and we were just falling in love. Don't get me wrong, things now are amazing and we both love each other more than we ever did as stupid kids. And the changes we've gone through in life haven't pulled us apart, but we've been able to grow together and accept the new differences in each other. Still, I feel like an old married couple sometimes. And I wish I had done a lot of things differently - savored the moments more. But maybe that's part of the lie we're fed our whole lives - that there's some end to everything we do, like if we work hard enough we can reach that mythical resting place in life - marriage often, or just finding that someone who you feel is your soul mate.
Women, especially, are often victims to this lie. We spend way too much time trying to look pretty, say the right things, wear the right clothes, flirt the right way to catch that great man who is going to give us everything we need and take away all of our worries. Not only is that unrealistic and a huge burden for any man to try to carry on his shoulders, it's also weakening us as modern women so that the time we could have been spending throwing ourselves into our life's work is spent chasing boys.
But I still believe in love, because I'm living it every day. But it happened for me when I wasn't trying to find a guy. I was just being myself. And isn't it better to have someone who loves you for who you are rather than the girl you think every guy really wants - someone mythical that doesn't actually exist? Isn't it better to be free to think how you want, do what you want, be who you are? Maybe that's why a lot of marriages don't last - we're all too busy trying to be someone we aren't to make another person love us. But if we let that go and waited for the one who loves us for all our weird quirks and silly habits and confusing feelings and all our opinions, maybe we'd all be a little happier. Then we could kill the lie of the "happily ever after" and stop dreaming of yesterday. Wishing things would change while being afraid that they ever will.
Change is good and it keeps us moving forward toward bigger and better things. There is no "happily ever after," but each of us can have a happy life. And sometimes you just have to let go and let yourself be happy. Take things as they come, adapt, change with your environment, embrace life. Let go of the past and embrace your present and your future. Do what you want and go where you want and be at peace with the people and things and the environment around you. Live and let live, and let go of the past.