“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” — Guy Finley
I have spent the better part of my life dreaming of distant places, wishing for wild adventures, and yearning for new beginnings. I’d practice mindfulness to live in the moment, but I quickly learned that the moment is hard to live in when that moment just isn’t right. I’d spend my days searching for tree houses to escape to in Hawaii, researching universities to study at in Vancouver, and reviewing visas to move to Melbourne. I didn’t care too much about where I would go or what I would do there, I just wanted to start over.
Putting roots down in a city where no one knows me, hiking mountains to see views I have never seen before, and creating memories with a group of new girlfriends all seemed so alluring. I could drink my way through the local cafe’s coffee menu, buy fresh produce at the neighborhood farmers market, and get lost in the stacks at the nearby library. Better yet, I would have the chance to transform into the ‘perfect’ version of myself, the person I have always wanted to become. I’d forget, only for a brief moment, that the one thing I can’t leave behind is myself, imperfections included.
I now find myself in the midst of new beginnings. The allure has worn off and reality has set in. Starting over welcomes the discomfort of new surroundings, disruption of set routines, and dismissal of familiar faces. You must learn to seek the uncomfortable to become comfortable, embrace the disruptions to minimize stress, and accept the absence of old friends to find happiness in being alone. View new surroundings as stomping grounds to explore, new routines as opportunities to modify poor habits, and time alone as lessons in how to be alone but not lonely.
In time, this place will become your home. New surroundings will become familiar backdrops. New routines will become regular practices. Time alone will lessen and time with new friends will flourish. Refrain from seeking yet another new beginning, you are already living it. Take pleasure in the new places and appreciate the new faces. Reflect on the past days, the weeks, and the months. Remember that while the allure of new beginnings may have worn off, you are still just setting the stage for that new leaf to turn over.