Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A change of scenery

As my fifth year in Athens begins to wind down, I have to say that I am looking forward to a change. I've always been a somewhat restless individual--after being in one place for a while (both in a literal and a mental sense), I feel like it's time to move on. I don't like feeling as if I have built up a "history" somewhere. I know that I should be comfortable with who I am, and indeed I am comfortable with that... I guess it is just that I become less comfortable with the people around me, either because they seem to have not changed much, or their changes have taken them down an entirely different road than the one I am traveling.

In the town where I lived for the first eighteen years of my life, a place where everyone knew your name AND your GPA AND your criminal record (not that I had one), I felt like I built up a history and that after awhile, it was just expected that I would follow the precedent I had already set. People, as we well know, are dynamic creatures; nevertheless, others are surprised when they find that you have changed--and not only surprised, but also disappointed, skeptical, and sometimes plain disrespectful. By the time I was about thirteen, I no longer felt I could be true to myself, as I was becoming someone altogether different from the girl I had been all my life. I was stuck in a mold, and it took an exodus for me to finally express myself freely again.

Now I'm twenty-three years old, and I have to say that I am a much different person than I was when I was eighteen and a newcomer to Athens. Athens is without a doubt a much larger town than my hometown, but still I have found my way into tight-knit circles where I have projected a particular image of myself, and now that the image is somewhat inaccurate I feel (to make use of a trite yet apt expression) like a round peg in a square hole. So though I love the Athens atmosphere, I do truly look forward to the time when I can shut the door on this era of my life and start over in a new city.

Does this cycle ever end? As you get older, do you change less--or do you just care less about the pressure you feel from the people around you? I don't want to feel like my life is all about things starting and ending; I want it to just go on, and to be comfortable within whatever shape the notch happens to be that gets carved for me.

I think I still have a lot to learn...

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

Thank you for sharing this, Laura. Quite insightful and personal. I am 41 and still changing, inside and out, spiritually, emotionally, physically...