Over the weekend, we went to Chattanooga to celebrate the nuptials of our good friends. Jake was in the wedding, so I killed time by meandering through Coolidge Park and strolling across the pedestrian bridge – two activities I loved doing when we lived in Chattanooga. As I was walking along the riverfront, I started seeing memories play out in front of me. I saw myself lying in the grass with girlfriends on a warm day. Playing Frisbee with the guys. Surprising Jake with a birthday picnic on the park’s stage.
We loved Chattanooga, and it still holds a special place in my heart. But, we made a choice to leave. When we moved to Nashville, and eventually began our married life, I felt like I had finally found my feet. Like I had grown into myself – and I’m still growing.
As we transition from summer to fall, I’m reminded that we are constantly transitioning in our lives as well. A flower wilts and dies at the end of a hot summer, but when it comes back in the spring, it’s not the exact same flower. Yes, it’s still a lily, but perhaps it has grown taller, has multiplied or is just slightly different than it was six months before. And the same goes for us. I’m not the same person I was six months ago. And, I won’t be the same person that I am today six months from now. We are all constantly growing and learning. After all, where’s the fun in everything remaining the same?
As I walked through all the places that I used to love so much in Chattanooga, I realized I enjoyed it just as much now. And the reasons why I loved it? Well, those were the same, too. I loved it because I was outside, surrounded by fresh air and open space. I loved looking around and feeling small, like a piece of the puzzle. These are feelings that empower me, and I seek them wherever I am – whether that’s in Nashville, across the country or overseas.
So, that’s the thing. We are continuously evolving, and at times it can feel like we’ve grown so much that we’ve out-grown ourselves. But, we haven’t. We realize that we still find joy in the same things, contain some of the same qualities or that our views of certain things haven’t changed – and it grounds us.
After all the growth, we’re the same, just slightly different. We’re developing through the seasons of life into something more beautiful.