“Things have changed for me, and that’s okay. I feel the same.” I sing the old Panic! at the Disco lyrics as I clean my room on a day off from school in the middle of the week. I have nothing to do, but I’m happy. I have nowhere to go, but I’m content. I have responsibilities lingering over me, but I breathe. I will never be the same again, but I’ll be okay.
It was really anti-climactic, the ending. One day, my routine was set in stone. It was the same for all four years of my high school life, and it had been similar since I was four years old. In one night, it was gone.
Softball has always been a part of my life. It has always been a part of me as a person. Whenever someone asked me to tell them about myself, the first words out of my mouth would be, without hesitation, “I’m a softball player." Then, last week, my team and I were eliminated from the state playoffs, and because I’m a senior, my high school softball career was over. I suppose I’m not much of a softball player anymore.
I don’t feel like I’m less of myself; in fact, I don’t feel different at all. My life has been altered in some way that I know is so huge, yet I don’t perceive this difference, at least not yet. Sure, tears have been shed, fond words exchanged, and a night or two has been left sleepless. Why don’t I feel different? What does it even mean to change?
According to my trusty friend Merriam Webster, change is “to become different, to make (someone or something) different, to become something else.” I’ve done these things. I was once a softball player; now, I am not.
I’ve just recently become an adult in the eyes of the law, but that doesn’t mean much to me. I’m in the middle of the college application process, but it has yet to hit me that I may be living on the other side of the country a year from now. New doors are opening and old doors are closing with each passing day. I have changed, but I don’t feel changed.
Maybe change isn’t a feeling. It’s an action, a shift. We always talk about how, on our birthdays, we don’t feel different, and maybe that’s because that number can’t really make us different at all. The passing day itself doesn’t affect us. What makes us different is our experience, where we are, who we decide to be.
So, no, I’m not a softball player anymore, and no, I don’t feel different. At the same time, I’m not the same as I once was. That’s the beauty of humanity- none of us ever are. With each passing day we progress, regress, mold ourselves into the person we are supposed to become. Sometimes these changes are small and wonderful, and other times they are monumental and disappointing.
No matter what each change may be with each passing day, we should strive to make it a change for the better, a difference that will make us into a better person. We may not feel different, but life isn’t lived for the feeling. It’s lived for those small changes, those small beauties, that make the world into a wonderful place.