Thursday 28 May 2015

Feel The Change, Fear The Change

In one week, everything will be different.

Gone will be the house in the town in which I have lived, loved and loathed for the past 4 years of my life, the University looming on the periphery of it, that has held so many tears and triumphs, friends and foes. Gone will be number 13, band house, where we all met for the first time 2 years ago and the countless band practices and drunken nights which have taken place in the garage since. Gone will be the car that has taken me on immeasurable adventures across the country in the past 6 years. Gone will be my friends, family, home nation, and everything familiar and friendly I feel safe among, which I have lived in for the past 22 years of my life.

One week today, I will be moving to New York City on my own, a University drop-out with a pocket full of dreams and a heart full of desire to experience more.

The move is by no means permanent, and perhaps I'm being a touch melodramatic, but having never been away for more than two weeks before, I'm going to put it out there and say;

I'm actually fucking terrified.

And it's made me wonder, why as humans - a species defined by our evolution and adaptability -  are we so afraid of change? 

Despite moving to New York alone, I'm not the only one whose life is on the very periphery of changing dramatically. Sitting next to me is Greg, who will be taking the same flight as me along with Jack and Ginny - the three of them then heading on to Virginia to work in Busch Gardens Theme Park.

As if by some unsaid queue, both Greg and I have suddenly fallen into a silence, completely speechless as we fully realise the sheer enormity of change we are about to undertake.

In one week, this will all be over. 

I ask him why he's scared and he says the future. That it won't work out, he'll hate it there or working full time will take all the fun out of living abroad, that he won't settle in well. 

I realise my fears are mostly for the present, the very moment and circumstance we are inhabiting right now, looking round at everything which has been home to me and the knowledge that before we can fathom it, it will be over. And the present will be past. 

Everything has been the same and happy for so long... and now it's done.

I find I've developed this almost desperation to cling on to this moment in time. That split second before the drop, the sharp inhale before the crescendo. I harbour countless clothes I will never wear again, but I can't bare to say goodbye too because of their sentimental value. I walk from room to room and try to take in everything, using every sense to try and commit this place to my memory in the sharpest detail I can. The air is dense with the memories, the furnishings saturated with laughter and conversations, and despite this all being in the past, while we're still here, they're still alive. That book is still open, but the cover is creaking shut.

But once we finally leave, these echoes die, the place is stripped of the life we created in it, and it becomes just a shell to be filled with someone else's memories, people oblivious to all that went before.

But I think I've figured it out.

Why I'm scared, and why humans fear change.

It's that same sadness of watching an episode knowing you're coming to the end of the very last season, the slow reluctance in which you consume words on a page when you realise there's very few pages left of a book you have loved.

Because each moment that we realise something is over, an era of our lives coming to an end, we become subconsciously aware that there are only so many eras we have left. We find such comfort and ease in staying the same for long periods of time, because routine is so consistent that we never have to come to a stop, never have to realise that from birth, we  were only ever born with so many moments to have.

We fear the present and we fear the past, because we slowly watch the former becoming the latter.

We fear the future because with so little time, what if we chose the wrong path? What if it turns out to be the wrong thing to do and we end up wasting an era of our lives on regret?

But the fundamental truth which underlines this all;

We fear change, because only in goodbyes and full stops do we truly acknowledge how temporary we are - that all good things must come to an end, including us.

And just like I know walk around these rooms, trying to hold on to these moments yet knowing that I shall never return, just like my time at University, just like my time in this house, just like those parties and anxious waits for exam results that felt like they'd last forever - my fear now comes from the knowledge that just like all that, I too, am temporary.

Because one day, one door will close and another will not open. And in (hopefully) many, many years when I do make my heavenly exit, just as this life-saturated home is slowly stripped of its furnishings, my life will be in past tense, memories to be recalled by no-one, fresh new faces stepping in to take up residence, oblivious to all that went before.

In essence, we fear living because we fear dying.

(Christ, only I could make the most depressing, morbid negative out of moving to America haha)

So what are we going to do about that?

Sit around and wait for death all the while feigning ignorance of it in the comfort of routine and familiarity?

Hell fucking no we're not. 

Because although we may have been born with a certain amount of time to our names, this is not exclusive to the amount of eras we can make out of it.

We could all sit there and lead a 5-chapter-size-14-font novel of a life, but if one day I somehow end up with a biography, I want that bitch to be a motherfucking CHRONICLE. I want people to have to do WEIGHT TRAINING before they can risk trying to pick that bad boy up in Waterstones.

Excuse my poor metaphors, but why ever choose to live a 3 episode season of a life, over a 25 episode season? 

It's a no-brainer for me.

And although fear is not a choice, and neither often is death, what we end up doing with our lives is completely our own volition.

Yes, the echoes of our memories will one day ring into oblivion, but we don't have to be a forgotten moment ourselves. If we want to, we can lead full, enriched lives, touching the hearts of the people we meet and being equally an inspiration as we are inspired, so we never will be just a name and two dates between dashes. With our lives, we are able to build a lasting legacy of love, truth and beauty.

And for me anyway, that means making as many eras out of my life as possible, continuing to take risks and change everything even though it scares the shit out of me, because I'd rather run forever, then finally stop and admit defeat.

So, goodbye, era.

I'm finally ready to make you a memory and take my present tense across the globe to begin a new one.

Because I am in that beat before the drop, that breath before the crescendo. So I'm going to cast off that fear and begin to imagine the wild potential of where that will take me.