Although the road trip brought back lots of memories, and made me realize a lot of things about myself, it also encouraged me to, how do I put this?, move forward. I realized that while I'd been nurturing my dreams, I'd been doing so rather passively, and kind of living in the past. Not totally, but living in a past rendition of those dreams. Enough of the "variables" in those dreams are changing now, that in some ways, the dreams have to change and grow and develop. Not that they are "wrong" at their core, but just that...well, I'm not the same person I was when I graduated from college.
In line with my New Year's Resolution to "do things", I'm taking more responsibility for making those dreams come true, instead of just expecting them to happen to me. I'm working on becoming "me", and learning to feel good about that. Not in a self-centered, the-world-revolves-around-me, don't-feel-any-responsibility-for-my-fellow-man kind of way. Just in a healthy, self-confident, God made me and delights in me and so I should delight in me, kind of way.
This is going to sound really strange, but I have this tshirt that I've had since college. I've worn it to bed (only) in kind of an on-again, off-again sort of way. Different periods of my life since college, you know. It's a comforting shirt, because it's nostalgic. But it carries with it a lot of emotional and political baggage, and even a little heartbreak. I've kept it in circulation out of a sense of...missing the past, dreaming that I could undo or redo certain parts of my life, a kind of safety in knowing who I am and what my life is. But somewhere along the way, I changed. Not entirely - my heart and my dreams and my desires are still the same. But I've moved on into new things, a new person, a new life. And so the tshirt is going in the box every girl has of tshirts and greeting cards and pictures that will always make me smile, but that aren't a part of my life anymore.
In its place is going the tshirt I got from doing the 5K. It's a very tangible way of reminding myself that I'm moving forward and reaching for new dreams, that I'm going to be confident in myself and who I am and what I can do. It's a little sad, but it's good. It's all good.