======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
When I was in college, a fraternity friend of mine got a terrible call. He had gone home a few weeks prior and knocked boots with an ex; I guess she thought she was pregnant and let him know. Unfortunately for him, he was hammered when he got the news. One thing led to another, and he was in tears listening to Bowie’s “Changes” on repeat crying about being a father. Luckily, he didn’t have to turn and face the strange as it was just a scare. But, for that short time, we all came together to support a good friend in need.
Change is inevitable. I live behind a cemetery. More often than not, someone’s grandma is getting buried when I’m taking my morning growler after a night of drinking. I feel voyeuristic watching people pay respects to their loved one. Sometimes there are only a few people in attendance, other times there is a cavalcade. There are people laid to rest there from the mid-1800s through the present day. While I sit on the can reflecting, knowing that a few days ago this person was alive, I think about their loved ones and how it changes a dynamic of said person’s circle of influence. It makes you think about how these people lived and loved, made mistakes, and had great achievements, but also that with or without them the sun will rise the next day. I usually finish off thinking, “This is pretty heavy for a bowel movement.”
I have to be straight up honest: I am afraid of change. Whether it is death, a new job, moving, or a new car, I’m not really a big fan of it. I haven’t written all that much in the last few months or so and my frequency has slipped. Life has been happening and quite honestly, writing has always been the place I could hash out what is going on to find meaning in this crazy existence. Without this, I’ve spent a lot of time in my own head.
I’ve been writing for PGP for over three years. Writing has been cathartic for me and something that has become part of who I am. But, like many, there’s a lot of self-doubt. Am I running out of things to say? Do people even enjoy reading what I write? Would people care if I stopped writing? My stuff is quite different than a lot of what is featured on PGP, but the thoughts in my head that maybe I’m coming off whiny, boring, or overused still give me reminders that maybe it’s not good enough. I’ve often thought about hanging it up. Please don’t take this as me needing validation; these are merely racing thoughts that run their progressions in my head. Having an avenue to channel my creative spirit — if you could call it that — has been some of the best medicine to get over the idle thoughts.
As I’ve gotten older, change has come whether I wanted it to or not. Even though I’ve technically been a postgrad for six years, I don’t know if I am any better or worse at it. I used to see a lot of my friends on a weekly basis. Now, we struggle to find a weekend a year during which we can enjoy each other’s company. I’ve written at length about this because dealing with change has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. Many have moved away. Others have kids and are in a different place in their lives. I remember growing up, many of my parent’s best friends were who they saw because my brother and I played sports. I’m afraid of this being my future and that I will be left out. It’s not so much fear of unknown but rather “I enjoy what’s going on now, and I don’t want it to end.” Like Andy Bernard said, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
Change isn’t bad; it is the natural progression of life. But that doesn’t make it any easier to accept. What were once mainstays in my life are now memories. Things that were foundational to my being are now discarded ideas from a simpler time. Places I used to feel were in my element are now places I avoid. In college, I could be ready for bed and a buddy would knock on the door and ask, “You ready to roll?” Now, rather than rattling sabers and sending the troops back onto the field, I often say, “I’m too tired for this shit” and stay home. The funny part is, even the asking to go out has gone down.
You ever go to a place that has had a seminal moment at some point in history? I’ve spent some good time at Harpers Ferry, hiking and visiting. It was the site of John Brown’s raid, a catalyst for the Civil War. There’s an air about it; you can taste that something happened there of great importance. Now it’s a national park. Things change, places change and people change. Just when you think you get your feet set, the Terry Tate Office Linebacker that is life brings the pain train right up in your ass..