I'm not who I used to be.December 5, 2016
Have you ever found yourself sitting in the middle of a difficult or frustrating situation when, unexpectedly, you recognize that you're handling the situation leaps and bounds better than you would have in the past? It's this quiet but empowering moment that fuels you to keep growing and reassures you that you are not the person you used to be-- but in a good way. I'm not the person I used to be in other ways too: for example, I used to be in impeccably good shape (I was a soccer player, for crying out loud... and I loved to run) and I was well-versed in the laws of punctuation (but all of that flew out the window when I went to Korea and had to learn an asian language). But that's the thing-- we change. Sometimes in positive ways, sometimes in negative ways, and at other times, we just trade things we're good at in order to be good at new things. I think, in both small and big ways, the whole reason we're alive is to change.
There are parts of us, however, that don't change. Just the other day, as we drove out of the mouth of Provo Canyon, I was left breathless at the beauty that spanned out before me (pictured above). The sun was setting, sinking lower and lower beyond the horizon as it cast out its final rays of light in a last ditch effort to kiss the mountains goodnight; the sun greeted the coming night and the world was frosted in a haze of golden light. I reached down into my backpack and pulled out my camera-- just as I would have years ago. That thought makes me happy, really. I like that, although I change, some parts of me will always remain the same. Throughout my life, I have consistently valued the documentation of my existence. I know without a doubt that this particular part of who I am will never change; I will always love to remember.
It's cool to be caught in a moment when you very vividly recognize that you've changed in some way for the better. It's also cool to be caught in a moment when you realize that some parts of you will always stay the same. Time has a funny way of changing everything and nothing all at the same time. But I'm grateful for all the ways I've changed and for all of the ways I've stayed the same.