I love photographs. They're an escape back to a moment that's already gone, a return ticket, in essence. Photographs capture all kinds of moments, full of emotions and actions that are impossible to relive in any other form than the shadow of a memory. I find myself reliving these memories quite a bit, reminiscing back to times where I was tucked safely in my comfort zone, my life in the reach of my fingertips. In those moments of comfort, you forget what else is out there. Life is great when you have a set pattern to each day and a constant identity to hold on to. Living life in that manner is an illusion that stops you from truly experiencing the limits of who you are, from chasing the vast opportunities present in this world. Comfort is good, but sometimes you need change.
That's when you know it's time for a new beginning.
Three months and two weeks ago, I graduated college. I completed the most amazing, arduous journey of my life in those four years, and emerged confident, educated, and strong. I was also entirely terrified. I loved my life in college--the friends, the football, the school spirit around campus and the set routine to each day. I was tired of taking classes, but I didn't want to leave my school, friends and family. I didn't want to leave my safety net.
Three months and two weeks later, I find myself sitting in a bookstore in Asheville, writing this article about the significance of new beginnings. I live in a new city, knowing no one other than the people I work with. I'm scared...and also entirely liberated. No one knows who I am, where I come from, or has any expectations of the kind of person I'm "supposed" to be.
Turning the page onto this new chapter in my life is one of the best feelings in the world, because it allows me to see how much more to the story there really is.
Starting a new life forces you to reevaluate the individual you think you are. You step out of your comfort zone and the things you normally shy away from, because the cost of embarrassment is so much lower at a place where no one knows who you are. New energies and new surroundings present you with new chances for success and happiness. It's scary, but facing the fear shows you how brave you really are. Not knowing anyone forces you to fend for yourself in each situation you face. And with each successful situation you maneuver, you gain confidence in your independence and learn how capable you truly are.
There comes a time in life when you walk away from everything you know in the pursuit of something invigorating and enlightening. Acknowledge your fear of change but face it head on in the hopes of discovering more about yourself. Trust in the magic of new beginnings, regardless of the point you are at in life. It's never too late to be who you want to be and live a life that you are proud of.
Gather the strength to start over and take that first step. With your memories behind you and your dreams in front of you, you can experience the freedom that comes from starting anew.