It seems hard to believe that yesterday marked the official first day of Spring...particularly here in Ontario, Canada, where the temperature was below freezing and we ended up with snow flurries. Certainly no sign of blooming roses and birds flying back home after a six month sabbatical in Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.
But, you know, a year ago around this time, it felt as though we had skipped through March, April, and May and zoomed right ahead into summer!
(Not that any of us were complaining in these parts, might I add.)
And, what's funny about the changing of the seasons is the fact that it reminded me of a song that was popular two and a half decades ago. There's a particular stanza within this song's chorus that forms the base for this week's Thursday Diary entry.
March 21, 2013
I'm almost positive that the winter of 2012/2013 will officially be named the longest winter in the history of the 21st century. At least it seems that way to me. The first day of spring was yesterday, and we got snow. That's not exactly the ideal vision one wants to have when anticipating the time in which the ice melts, the mercury in the thermometer rises, and the sun beams down on us a little bit longer with each passing day.
But you know, as long as the Earth spins around the sun, the seasons will always change (well, for those of us who do not live right on the Equator, that is).
In fact, the whole idea of seasons changing kind of reminds me of a song that was quite popular twenty-five years ago. Have you ever heard of a band known as Expose? It's okay if you haven't...they haven't had many hits since the 1990s rolled around. And, why have I brought them up in this entry? Simple. Have a listen to one of their biggest hits, paying particular attention to the chorus of the song.
“Seasons Change” was a number one hit for the band in February 1988. In case you were wondering, at the time, the members of the band were Jeannette Jurado, Gioia Bruno, and Ann Curless. As a song, it didn't exactly stand out all that much, but the lyrics stand out for me. In particular, one part of the chorus.
“Seasons change, people change.”
And as we approach a brand new season, I have come to the conclusion that I have changed too. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. I'm not the same person five, ten, fifteen, even thirty years ago. And, I am sure that most of you reading this can say the same about yourselves as well.
But here's my dilemma. I'm nowhere near ready to emerge as that butterfly that has beauti...
...no, scratch that image. It's too cutesy-poo.
Okay, how can I put this without making me sound like a complete dork?
How about this? You have a jigsaw puzzle in front of you. It's one thousand pieces. Certainly a challenge for most people, but you work hard at it trying to piece the whole thing together. You face challenges, trying to fit every piece together, or trying combinations that seem like they might work, but end up not quite fitting. And, then when you think that you have the whole thing figured out, you look at it and realize that you only have 999 pieces in your possession, and that one is missing.
I bet you know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I am comparing myself to the unfinished jigsaw puzzle that I just outlined here for you. Not a bad theory, but it's slightly incorrect.
In all honesty, I see myself as that missing piece of the puzzle. The piece that will eventually bring everything together. A piece that needs to find out where they will eventually fit in.
In my near 32 years on this planet, I've gotten closer to finding out which puzzle I'm meant to complete. But no matter what has happened, I've never been able to securely fit into a situation where I feel one hundred per cent comfortable. I've never had that feeling where I feel completely secure in my surroundings.
And, you know...the more I think of it, the more I think that maybe that can be a good thing.
After all...seasons change...people change.
In every situation that I have been faced with, either the situation has changed, the surroundings have changed...and even I myself have changed.
And, I suppose that's a good thing in the long run. Let's face it...people sometimes need to switch things up a bit in life to avoid getting stuck in a rut. And, I'll be the first to admit that over the last ten years, I've been stuck in a rut so deep that a snow plow could get trapped inside the grooves that have been eroding the surface of the pavement!
And, just going back to that jigsaw puzzle analogy that I talked about earlier in this blog entry, how many times have you completed a jigsaw puzzle and then exclaimed to yourselves, “now what?”
I know anytime that I have ever finished a jigsaw puzzle, it immediately goes back into the box, never to see the light of day ever again. Occasionally, I might take that puzzle, glue it onto some thick cardboard, and display it in a picture frame if the image is particularly interesting, but then its ultimate fate is that it sits around collecting dust.
Kind of like a person who is stuck in a rut, don't you think?
So, what point am I trying to make with jigsaw puzzles and changing seasons, and forgotten #1 hits by an all-girl group from the 1980s?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes the puzzle that I feel I have completed in my life and times may not exactly be the way that I want it to be. Ten years ago, it may have been the perfect fit for me, but as time grows, the foundations begin to crumble, and pieces break away, and the feelings of security become replaced by feelings of boredom or malaise.
And, why is that? Because I'm not the same person I was a decade ago. 2003 Matthew is not the same person as 2013 Matthew.
So, the question becomes this. Why would I want to continue living the same life, doing the same things, and accepting that this is as good as things are going to get, when there's a whole new world out there for me to explore with brand new possibilities and brand new opportunities in a brand new location?
I'm being completely serious here. It may have taken a pop song from the 1980s and a jigsaw puzzle analogy to make me realize that I'm selling myself way too short here, and that I need to just grab on that bar and hold on tight as the roller-coaster of life takes me through the twists, turns, and loops that are designed to challenge me. I figure that if I can get through all that and not require one of those barf bags at the end of it, I can consider myself a true survivor of sorts.
(Or, at the very least coming to the realization that I don't have to worry myself sick over things that I can't control, and focus on the aspects in my life that I can control.)
It's funny though. I wrote this blurb at (no kidding) one-thirty in the morning, and at first glance, I was worried that I would have to rewrite this whole thing because I didn't think it made any sense. But, re-reading it upon getting some sleep, it surprisingly makes a lot of sense to me. Whether or not it does to you...well, you're the only one that can make that judgment.
But, the thing that I get out of this is that as seasons change, people change. I've changed a lot over time, but my surroundings and what I do every day have not.
And, that's gotta change. To preserve my life and my sanity, it's gotta change.
Admitting that? It's a good first step.