Like the Leaves, I Am Changing

As a senior in college, I've found myself thinking about my senior year of high school. Go ahead, call me nostalgic! Sixteen seasons have come and gone, and quite a lot has changed in those critical four years -- in both anticipated and unexpected ways. There's been upticks and downfalls, successes and setbacks. I've made roots in temporary places and forever friends along the way. And thanks to some serious soul searching, I've discovered (and re-discovered) who I am and who I strive to be.

Feeling sentimental, I skimmed through the diary I kept when I was seventeen. (Even then, I was happiest looking through the lens of a camera or expressing my thoughts on paper.) From submitting college applications in the fall to graduating in the spring, senior year was a constant reminder of change. It was the year of many "lasts" before all of the "firsts" and I had a lot of emotions to work through.

As the pages of my personal diary reveal, I've been adjusting to life's twists and turns for a while now. At seventeen, I was hyper-aware of change and cognizant that life would be full of it.

I am currently 21 years young, facing a new set of challenges and changes. As I launch Easily Inspired out into the blog world, I think it's appropriate to share an excerpt from my diary that still resonates with me today. In hindsight, I can't help but thank my younger self for realizing such an important life lesson early on.

Like the Leaves, I Am Changing  

Written at age 17 | Fall '12

Today I sat in bed, looking out the window admiring the trees. It’s the end of October now, so the leaves are in full change. The colors are so vivid, so unreal. It’s hard to believe they were a boring green just weeks before. And it’s sad to think as the leaves fall off one by one their beauty will soon be forgotten.

I found myself smiling, thinking about the annual speech Dad gives this time of year. “Take it in,” he always says. “This has only happened 17 times in your life.”

And out of nowhere, it hits me: time is ticking by -- fast.

Time creeps up on you. So does change. It’s like when just a few colored leaves stand out in a tree that is still mostly green, you don’t think much of it. You go on with the motions of daily life, unaware of what is changing around you -- what is changing beyond your control. Then one day, you step outside and suddenly bright red and golden orange surrounds you; everything has changed.

This time next year I won’t be riding in the passenger seat rolling my eyes as my dad recites his lecture about the leaves. It’s strange to think I don’t know what school I’ll be attending or even what state I’ll live in. But, I do know that I will be looking out of my dorm window (wherever that may be), staring at the trees, wishing I could be sitting on my bed at home and wondering where exactly the time went. And so even though I have heard my dad say, “take it in” for 17 years, I am just now beginning to understand what he’s always meant.

It’s the little things we take for granted, like Dad’s autumnal wisdom, that will be missed the most when it's gone. Like the leaves, I am changing because the seasons stop for no one.

Our brilliantly colored days of fall are numbered. As you enjoy the weeks leading up to winter, I encourage you to really "take it in" and embrace the constant change that makes life fascinating.