When I find myself looking at pictures of my children growing up, besides the happy memories and love that envelops my taking this trip down memory lane, I invariably start to laugh over the outfits that they are dressed in. What was I thinking??? Looking back on the clothing trends of the 1970’s always gets to me. None of what I might have considered cute little outfits for my little ones would fit today’s children. Things have changed and fashion has changed too…even for toddlers.
Even with some indulging in fond nostalgia, recognizing that it doesn’t fit anymore for this time can be a healthy start to finding that new fit. It reminds me of the expression: ” You can’t go home again”. On the surface, it would seem that these words don’t make much sense. Of course we can and do go home, maybe as returning college students, young adults, newlyweds or parents bringing the grand kids for a visit.
However, the deeper meaning lies in the reality that when we visit our childhood home, we are no longer the child who grew up there. We’ve changed! Our wish to have our old room and home remain forever that comforting, comfortable, familiar and nurturing place, is not to be. We’ve grown and moved on. We are not the child we remember. and, if our childhood memories are not so fond, it is equally, if not even more important to recognize that we’ve changed!
We need to adjust to a different fit when we go back home. Even as we seek to re-capture our history, our connections have changed. That is the on-going process of transition in our lives. And while we can’t go back home to what was at a different time in our lives, we can visit, absorb our past, honor those experiences and ready ourselves to move into what fits us now.
Such was my recent experience in attending my yearly Cantors Convention that had been such a wonderful part of my cantorial experience for many years. The difference this time, was that with the passage of more time since my retirement as cantor, and my entry into the new beginnings of my counseling practice, I was no longer going back home to that familiar place of connecting with colleagues, sharing congregational experiences and new learning to take back to my congregation.
I was more of a visitor, connecting to friends and colleagues in a different way because of my different experiences. It was a bittersweet time for me of letting go so I could more fully embrace my new home and the new life I am creating. This letting go in order to move on is the foundation of transition, moving from where we’ve been to where we want to be.
Gratitude for my many fulfilling and joyous years in the cantorate, tears of letting go and deep appreciation for the new place I now call home mingled together. I fully experienced and embraced every moment of convention. I said my goodbyes. Then I packed my bags to travel to my new place of being.