Moving forward

By Herb Scribner

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Before you read this column, I hope you’ll take a second and read my column from earlier in the semester, titled “So we float on to what comes next.” In that column, I discussed beating on to what comes next in life. I wrote how we all have to, at one point or another, face the challenges that come with change and that, despite how resistant we might be such change, we must accept it and move forward.

Collegian File Photo

But now I want to discuss exactly that – moving forward.

One of my very good friends, Kyle Ricci, brought this to my attention about a week ago. We were meeting up at the Hampshire Mall on what had been his last day working at one of his two part-time jobs. And when I saw him, one of the first things he told me was that he always enjoyed moving forward and taking that next step.

Now this obviously struck a chord with me, seeing as I had written a column on how we float on to what comes next. But I hadn’t really thought about what it feels like and what it is like to take that next step forward. That is to say, how our lives become something nearly incomparable to what they were before.

We quit a job. We move across the country. We move across the ocean. We break away from our loved ones. We cut people out of our lives. All of these things take something away from us and change our perception of the world. One minute your world is a small, New England town where there’s a Dunkin Donuts on every corner, and the next you’re at a drive-thru Astro Burger in Sandy, Utah, with gargantuan mountains right in front of you.

We look back at things as though they were a dream. Sure, you can always visit your old place of residence or go and hang out with people at your old job, but our perception of what it’s like to be there consistently has almost certainly changed significantly. We no longer feel at home, we no longer are allowed behind the counter. It’s a different feeling and a different environment.

And while we lose things with moving forward, there’s so much to gain. You almost feel a cleansing of yourself and can actually sense the chalk being wiped away from the board when you take a leap. It’s as though you suddenly find yourself in the season premiere of your life’s TV show, ready to begin all the new storyline arcs that await you. It’s actually fun to move forward with life.

We quit that job, but we get another one and meet all kinds of new people. New interactions are made, knowledge is increased and we gain a hefty amount of new information. We move across the country, but we become invested in other people’s lives and suddenly find ourselves in everyday real life once again, but with a new slew of people in an entirely new environment. We break up with our loved ones, but then we get to try out the single life with a renewed confidence and valor. We cut people out, only to find new ones.

Moving forward is what keeps all of us going. Becoming stagnant and complacent with how things are going only causes us to fall behind and neglect to make ourselves grow. Some friendships last forever, sometimes we always stay in the same valley, sometimes we date that girl for months or years without end. But the reality is that there’s always change going on around us, from the smallest to largest detail.

We’re always going to move on to what comes next, it’s inevitable. In order to do so, we’ve got to take that next step forward and cleanse ourselves of what was holding us back. It might be difficult to do away with the ways of the past and find ourselves in entirely new situations that don’t have the slightest resemblance to what used to be. It’s all worth it, though. It’s worth it to start over.

So the next time you’re faced with that challenge of moving forward, take that step and never look back. Don’t stay or go back to the job you hated because you miss it. Don’t travel all the way back to the other side of the country because you missed it and liked the way your life was. Don’t go back to the one you dumped because you couldn’t move on and get him or her off your mind.

Stay with the change and slowly but surely it’ll become your day-to-day life. That is, until you are ready to move forward yet again.

Herb Scribner is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]