I had a nice two hour conversation with one of my brides turned friend today. We got to talking about the difficulty of adapting to change. Humans are programmed to reject and baulk at anything different that either comes their way or gets forced upon them. Even when change is self inflicted, it's not always easy to adjust.
I remember when I was all packed and ready to make the move from my childhood home to the big smoke of downtown Toronto. I took one final glance at my empty room. Back then, forest green and dusty rose were the must have color palette. I took a mental snapshot, as if to remind myself that I would never again be sleeping in this room. The room of many tears and heartache. The room of teenage arguments with my mom about curfew. The room of late night phone conversations and sleepovers with my girlfriends. The room of exam studying, prom preparation and little girl memories.
Years later, my mom remarried, moved out and I went back to see my old room which had been converted into a spare bedroom. It seemed smaller than I remembered but the memories amidst those four walls came flooding back. And then it was time to leave again.
I moved several times throughout the course of my life. Each move brought upon new memories, new challenges and new adventures. When I was renting, I never quite felt settled. I never bought grown up furniture because I never knew where I would be living next and if it would fit the Toronto shoe box sized condos. When I met Michael, I knew I was ready to move closer to where I grew up. I knew he was a keeper when he had no qualms of moving closer to my mom. He in fact insisted that we check out Brantford; a city I would never have otherwise considered.
Many of my European friends have never left their family home until the eve of their wedding. They find it difficult and overwhelming to adjust to the decrescendo of their wedding events, their new spouse and often times a brand new residence. Believe it or not, there are still some old fashioned couples that choose to move in together after they are married. I think that is wonderful and traditional. Family is so important and often cases as we get older, we have parents or grandparents living with us.
I'm so fiercely independent and I love my alone time so I have often questioned why people who could be living full time in their own home, choose to spend so much time away from it. I have had the time to dig deeper, as my new Scratching the surface series has suggested, and understand that change is sometimes harder for some than others. Sometimes people have to be eased in. Take time to adjust and form a routine. Routine is something that happens several times before it feels programmed and natural.
And then, as sure as anything, a different form of change shall happen and the previous change you struggled with somehow now seems familiar and comforting.
I myself have a hard time dealing with change. I love my routines. When a website layout changes without notice, I hate it. When I leave a job or even worse, when a colleague leaves, my heart pangs.
The worst is when someone is taken away from us and we have no choice to accept that change. Sometimes we are so busy that we don't even take the time to notice what we have when we have it, and it's only when it's gone that we are saddened. And then, just like that, one day melts into the other, a year has passed and life continues to unfold; whether we like it or not.
Change makes us stronger. Change makes us wiser, cultured, and broadens our knowledge base.
Change is inevitable. I think this is why I love photographs so very much. Sometimes all we need is a little reminder of what was and continues to be, albeit sometimes in a different form. Like marriage and family, where the natural progression is moving from the familial to the matrimonial home, there is nothing that says making that transition can't be a little easier with frequent visits, occasional sleepovers and of course pictures to always remind us where and whom we came from.
Home will always be home, no matter how you define it, where you live or who you live with.
Change, and routine.