The Lover’s Dictionary
The natural state. Our moods change. Our lives change. Our feelings for each other change. Our bearings change. The song changes. The air changes. The temperature of the shower changes.
Accept this. We must accept this.
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan is this out of order love story told through the letters of the alphabet. In these words, for defining flux, he is saying something so profound, yet so simple. The natural state of our lives is change. It truly is.
As The Maine says, “Some things hardly change, But nothing ever stays the same.” We get older. We (hopefully) get wiser. We meet friends and lose them. We move states, towns, and cities. Life is never in the same stage. We shouldn’t expect to be.
But we do.
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There are times when I am having the time of my life, where the laughter is endless, where the songs of beautiful, where the hugs mean so much to me. In these times, the end isn’t clear. The time isn’t on my radar. But the future doesn’t wait.
So nights turn to days and memories wrap themselves in sweet little bows, gifts left behind.
On the other hand, we believe that we’ll feel stuck forever, that the classes will always sort of suck, that the embarrassing moment is eternally glued in everyone’s mind, that there won’t be relief from our pain. We shouldn’t believe this.
But we do.
We can’t accept change
Why can’t we accept the fact that things are ever-changing?
Part of me is afraid. Afraid of all that will be lost if I remember that this moment will flee. In the midst of the music, I’d stop and feel an ache in my soul, grief for what I know is to come to pass.
Part of me loves the lie. Loves the lie that I will be stuck forever. Because it keeps me complacent. It keeps me from trying that much harder to do something. To do anything at all.
I don’t want the song to end, but I want my life to change. I want to trade New York for a new skyline. I want to feel joy in the uncertainty of making a life-altering decision. I want to laugh with all my friends, old and new, surrounded by a campfire. I want to climb the Blue Ridge Mountains and cross it off my bucket list. I want to own a house and have a kitten. I want to be forever young, exploring the world with both eyes open, knowing I cannot know everything.
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I have big dreams and big goals for myself, and the winds of change often keep me from them. I know, in part, what my 25-year-old self looks like, and it’s a list filled to the brim of all I desire. My bucket list is a physical form of all the whimsical thoughts in me, the me that’s begging to go on an adventure. But that’s the thing about adventure: she rarely takes you where you want to go and she leaves you somewhere meant to teach you something.
Even knowing all of this, I am still believe things will settle down like rocks at the bottom of the ocean. So I embrace it all – the fear, the lie, the dreams that I carry with me.
Embrace the change
This embrace leads to so much more. I’m not lost in becoming this singular version of myself anymore. No longer am I tied down to “who I’m meant to be.” No longer shall I wait for the perfect future to unfold in front of me.
Instead, I will take all of the wonderful and scary and annoying curveballs life throws at me. I will make beauty from what was once ashes. I will carve a home out of the brokenness. I will leap at opportunity. The ebb and flow of life isn’t steady but it will always lead me towards my next adventure.
In a new place, everything seems a little different. The birds don’t sound the same. The air feels strange. And before I know it, the new becomes normal. Life holds a different set of challenges, a new agenda for me to learn, a new set of instructions for me to abide by.
While we await or hide from the next chapter, it creeps up slowly but steadily, arriving absolutely on time. There are moments where I wish things would go on forever like they are, but the truth is that the constant doesn’t make me a better person. The constant makes me comfortable. But change, change always leads to wisdom.
The wisdom isn’t always something I welcome. I particularly dislike the loss of friendships. Something in me knows they are inevitable but they still hurt. Even in the hurt, I am wiser because I know that loss of ones I love and dearly miss helps me to know those who are here for a season and those I will continue with on this journey called life.
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Some wisdom leaves me longing for more. Something in my soul stirs traveling to some new place, not on my bucket list, sometimes a place to pass through. Parts of myself I never knew existed leap forth to cherish the moments I have. Outside in nature. Laughing in the middle of the night. Seeing the sunrise from a new view, waking me for the morning. I remember to hold closely the things that matter and to let go of the things that don’t. I remember that sadness is temporary, and ice cream is the first step to healing your soul. I remember that every breath is precious, even when it hurts.
Gather the pieces of wisdom that change has left you with as you stand close a chapter of your life and turn the page. Do your best to grieve the losses, knowing the things you have are gifts. Treasure the gifts that spring in you true joy. Let change write you a story filled with love and delight.
How have things in your life changed? Do you like change?