Sometimes it's really sad to come home after being away for a long time; so many things have changed. Some changes have been good, some changes have been bad, and some have just been -- well, changes...
I'd say a positive change I've seen in Minnesota since I've been here last has been in my own neighborhood. These past few months, they've been re-paving the cul-de-sac that leads up to my humble Minnesota abode. I've been receiving updates from my parents and siblings throughout the process, and while it apparently has been a pain in the neck for my family to have the road all torn up in front of their house, I have come at just the right time to take a look at the finished product. All that's left to do is to re-sod the lawn right next to the curb and to sweep off all the leftover dust. The road is clean and straight and wonderful. It was a renovation long overdue.
There were some changes made inside my house, as well. I suppose it had to happen eventually, but I was very surprised to come home to find that my parents had given my bed away to the Burnsville missionaries. My room is no longer mine anymore; my sister, Ellen, has her own room, spruced up with fun decorations. All my effects left behind have been pushed into one drawer in the dresser or back into the corner of the closet. Sighing with defeat, I accept the fact that this change just had to happen. I don't live here anymore. I'm here to visit my family on vacation, and as a guest, I sleep in the guest bedroom with its hide-a-bed sofa. I have no clothes of my own here, so I live out of a suitcase and borrow any necessities from my sister.
Yesterday I visited some friends I knew from high school. That was an eye-opening experience for me. We went to Perkins and then just hung out at someone's house until 12:30 at night. Everyone's doing fine, I think. They all have big plans for the future: graduation, basic military training, work, school, families. It was great catching up with them, and exchanging gossip about others whom we've had the chance to interact with. But as conversation went on I realized how much these old friends of mine have grown up -- and in some cases, how much they haven't. They're making their own choices now, and many of those choices will have a very big impact on their future. People I used to have very high opinions of have suddenly been humanized, in a weird sort of way. They're making choices I don't agree with. Their lifestyles are now very different than mine. We no longer have many things in common with each other. It sort of makes me sad.
I don't blame myself for their actions. Really. That's one thing I think many may assume. I do not mean to say that I have shirked any duty or committed any sin of remission towards them. But part of me wonders if I am also a victim of time. Do people look at me the same way I look at them? Different, wavering, changing in my standards and morals? Have I changed? Should I have changed? How could my actions and behaviors and beliefs change others around me? What mistakes have I made that cause others to look at me differently? What mistakes have I made that cause me to look at myself differently? These are hard questions for me to ask myself, and sometimes I don't want to hear the answer.
Seasons of time change. I can't still be wearing a huge winter jacket when the summer sun is shining its ferocious heat on my life. That seems counter-productive. I need to shed my old life completely and embrace the things that never change. To be perfectly honest, I would be happy never personally visiting Minnesota again. I don't think it's worth going back to something that has completely disappeared. I love my old friends and I wish the best for them, but I think my opportunity to be a good influence in their lives has ended, and we have no more to offer each other.
Moral of the story: Change is hard. Change is very hard. But it's necessary.
Listening to: "Somewhere" by Emily Brown
Things Going On Today: I visit my friend Ingrid, I watch Harry Potter 6, and I read Middlemarch. (Almost done!)
Blessings: Family, a God that doesn't change.
Learned: I haven't learned anything yet today, which means I have wasted loads of time.