Spring Is All Around Me

This might not make sense to many of you, but I haven’t particularly liked springtime in my various homes as an adult – not before living here in Oregon, anyway. It was decent but disorienting in Texas. In New York, so much of what should have been pretty was distracted by mounds of melting brown/gray snow instead. In Michigan, the snow was still the thing masking the beauty of spring, though it was multiple feet of fresh white snow dominating months that were not categorically supposed to be winter. All things told, in many parts of this country, this is the most fleeting of all the seasons.

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That’s not the case here.

My neighborhood comes alive around this time of the year. It’s beautiful and I feel like I’m seeing spring for the first time.

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So much has been shifting around me lately – figuratively, physically, in every way possible. I’m getting ready to tackle the demolition and renovation projects in this house that have been the most daunting to me all along – the kitchen and bathrooms. I feel like I’m doing some simultaneous demolition and renovation within.

A friend was visiting a couple months ago who just published her first novel and it’s doing so impressively well. We got to talking about what drove her to finally contact agents and this one thing stuck with me: If I don’t do this, than who am I?

Thirties are a good time for asking oneself that question. Sure, there’s still plenty of time ahead for most of us, but – and this is key – there’s enough time behind us at this point that we should know ourselves better than we did with youth was among our assets. I know what I love. I know what I believe. I know what kind of life I want to have. If I don’t make hard decisions to take myself to those places now, what’s my excuse? When will I get around to barreling down the paths that suit me best, despite their obstacles, if not now? If I cannot marry who I know I am within with how I am living, then am I who I think I am?

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Identity is a lifelong concept and it’s an evolving one. I appreciate that. But there are things about myself that have always been true, things that have been steadfast about my core and my dreams since I was a child. Now that I am parenting a child of my own, I can already see some of who she will forever be – some parts of us aren’t meant to be shed. I’ll bet you can find similarly consistent parts about yourself too if you look. We can spend our entire lives embracing all of the changes and seasons of self, but there are certain elements sewn into us that keep the things that fluctuate together and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to honor those parts of myself. And how to tear down and rebuild all of the things in my life that undermine those foundational truths.

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With all of this change afoot – from tile samples to raw looks at myself and what I want – it’s been refreshing to just get outside in this midst of this season I’ve discovered a newfound love for – to find inspiration in nature and her annual rebirth.

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Why should we be so afraid to start anew, to turn a corner, to make room for growth when all around us is a perfect example of how good of a thing that can be?

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Elizabeth Seward is a writer and songwriter, among other things. Read a full bio on the ABOUT page.

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