Moving Forward: Gain and Loss

I drink prophetic tea. Mostly because it tastes delicious, and partly because the tea label imparts words of wisdom like this:

For every loss there's an equal gain. For every gain an equal loss.

These words couldn't ring more true for me in this part of my life, where it seems like every decision I make yields amazing joy yet requires immense sacrifice.

You could say I've moved out of the "honeymoon phase" of life, so to speak. The idealism of my teenage years and the glory days of college have passed in a whirlwind, and tiny bits of reality have seeped into my thought process. (What a bummer!) Don't get me wrong, I still possess an unflinching hope for the adventure ahead, but I also know that every move I make not only takes me a step forward in that adventure but also causes me to leave something behind.

Recently, that step forward has been "nesting" in my current town: committing to organizations, branching out to meet new people ... to put it simply, planting roots here. In the year-plus since I've moved to this place, I haven't allowed myself to do that. I've clung to my original roots--old friends, old hobbies, an old way of thinking--and that hindered my moving-on process. While all those things I held on to were (are!) wonderful in their own right, place and time, I allowed myself to linger in them, which caused me to sacrifice the relationship I have with this new phase of my life.

The 20-something journey is a little like adolescence. You're no longer the "kid" you once were, but the idea becoming a settled adult seems preposterous. Letting go of the comforts of the past is difficult--I'd even go so far as to say a little heart-breaking--but a sense of freedom comes in relinquishing control and allowing new opportunities to prevail.

Good things have come out of the few weeks since I took that step forward, saying to myself, "I'm going to be happy here (here being the physical city I live in and the time of life I occupy) until it's time for me to move on." I'm sure the gain won't come without its struggles, but that's all part of the adventure, isn't it?

Photo thanks!

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