The ground has turned cold again. The air is crisp and bitter; the wind harsh. Fall has turned into winter. But I suspect that as it does most times in this chilly little town, the Fall has simply adopted the negative characteristics of the cold, grey months ahead and we will all enjoy one or two more golden days of fall.
Some things, like the changing of the seasons, can happen over night transforming your reality, burying it under six inches of snow.
But not all things.
I walked a familiar path to a familiar building on a frigid Friday night. I took small steps in my constricting pencil skirt, trying to rub my bare legs together, hoping the friction would warm them up.
I opened the giant glass door and stepped inside of the white colored building. It was warm, clean, quiet, peaceful. An ancient looking man in a white suit greeted me with a smile at the front desk.
I told him I was here to work, and walked around to the back dressing room. Thoughts from every direction flooded my head as I contemplated my life.
I changed into a white dress, and put on a white name tag that read EMMILIE BUCHANAN. As the magnets of the tag clicked in place with a loud snap, I was suddenly reminded of another name tag I wore over a year ago, only it read SISTER BUCHANAN instead.
Suddenly, I was filled with an unendurable sense of longing for a former version of myself.
There has been a change in me. I gradual one. A complex one. A change with many components and variables. A change that has affected nearly every fiber of my being. It is a change I cannot name. It is a wonderful thing. It is a terrible thing.
As I took thoughtful steps up a silent staircase, I began to ponder my life. What had changed? So often I feel disconnected from my potential, as if I am continually grasping at something I cannot reach.
Swirling in a sea of introspection, I began my volunteer duties at the temple. There is no place I love more. It is a place to pray, meditate and recommit.
I started a shift with two women I had never met. I realized how distanced I had become. Meeting new people had never been a challenge before. But that night, I stumbled awkwardly over my words, searching my mind for something to say.
The distance I had placed between myself and the world was starting to become alarmingly apparent.
Lately, I have pushed everyone away. Keeping the world, and people I love at bay has become a defense mechanism, and frighteningly easy. Don't get close, I think. Stay away, I rationalize. Don't feel, I caution.
But this isn't living.
As I came face to face with the muted version of myself, I realized it was due to changes in my life I found uncomfortable, even painful. A deep sigh of realization escaped my body.
As I walked back to a different set of glass doors, I looked up. It had begun to snow.
And that's when it hit me.
Change is inevitable. You simply have to adapt.