The Transitions of Growing Up

Recently I am reminded that for every ending there is a beginning. As I age another year and my parents retire and sell my childhood home, I am forced to let go of the past and embrace the Unknown. Packing up all the stuff I had collected and saved for over 28 years, I realize that stuff does not a memory make. It’s the love that will always stay with you, the people that made each moment worthwhile and the treasure trove of thoughts we get to revisit at our leisure. I remind myself of this as I make the tough decision of what to keep and what to let go. What to hold on to and what to set free.

I also struggle with the idea that it is my parents, not me that is uprooting this time around. Growing up I couldn’t get away from home fast enough. Anywhere was better and for years I have felt a strong wanderlust and disdain for my roots. And yet no matter how many miles I put between us, my home and parents were always where I left them. My childhood remained intact, always there to return to. With my base vanished I am left to once again change my perspective and discover what lies ahead. I remind myself that I will always love and respect my parents but it’s my time to fly. A chance to spread my wings and soar on undiscovered currents. And in these moments of clarity I realize with astonishment that getting older really isn’t so bad, it’s more like a lesson in acceptance and the chance to understand some of the Universe’s infinite wisdom.

The whole experience has been a lesson in attachment. Attachment to my past, to the innocence of youth and hardest of all, to my parents. I invoke the works of Lao Tzu to comfort me, “In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired. In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.” As we move through each asana in our practice, we are continually acting out the cycle of letting go. As we flow into each new transition we are reminding ourselves that it is the times of confusion and uncertainty that really matter. Each transition gets us to the next step and we learn that each step is the whole journey. Transitions can teach us more about ourselves than even heightened times of connectivity.

As my ‘childhood’ officially comes to an end and I begin to question the concept of home and adulthood; I realize that I have made a community and a life for myself in the meantime. A family of friends, a home forged out of necessity and timing and a path that is continually evolving. A home is not four walls and a yard, it’s a welcoming spirit that comes from within and outside of us, much like the feelings we get when we practice yoga. Every time we step on the mat, no matter how long it’s been, there is a sense of coming home, to returning to where we’re meant to be. And I’m learning that spirit can be applied to wherever I make my life, even if it’s in the Unknown. And in doing so I begin to embrace the uncertainty, rather than allow it to turn me around in the wrong direction.

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