Traveling to New Worlds

The time is coming when many young adults will leave home, sailing off to the new land known as college. It is a time of great excitement but also the sorrow of leave-taking and the loss of the familiar. I still remember driving my oldest daughter to Eugene when she was 18. We were listening to the oldies station on the radio. She was feeling perky. I was crying. My baby was moving on. Yet I couldn’t help but notice that the songs that were playing were the same songs I’d felt so alive listening to at her age.

Regardless of our stage of life or whether we ever went to college, we all have that inner parent and inner youthful explorer as parts of our being. Both of those parts want to encourage exploration and want to hold onto the familiar. But in order to grow we have to be willing to let go of what we’ve enjoyed up until now. It doesn’t mean that what has come before is bad. It’s just time for more. In the cedar chest, I saved one of the favorite dresses for each of my daughters. Their 4 year old selves wore those dresses many times but eventually they grew too big. The boundaries of their beings had expanded and that required new clothing. It’s important to pay attention to these impulses for growth. If we ignore them, depression tends to follow and that creates a downward spiral.

Ask yourself, whatever is going on for you at this point in time, if there is a place in your experience that is calling for expansion–a wider boundary, a new shore, heck–even a new dress! Treasure what you’ve had till now. Tuck it away in the cedar chest of your heart, knowing it will always have a home there. And then get into the car of your life, crank up the tunes, and head for a new world of experience!

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