Is the Past “the Past?”

Is the Past “the Past?”
November 24, 2015 by Orr Fellowship

I’ve experienced an abundance of new beginnings over the past several months, and honestly did not immediately know how to come to terms with it all. I graduated college, migrated to a new city, and began an entirely new chapter of my life. In adapting to my new environment, I had been instructed over and over (and over) again to, “leave the past behind,” which is something that I struggled to accept.


A few Sundays ago, I was preparing to drive back to Indy from immersing myself in the festivities of an eventful weekend in my college town. In this moment, I began to realize that, to a degree, I might have been stuck in the past. As I loaded up my vehicle and prepared to listen to the same old “Killers” and “Kanye West” albums from 2004, I challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone, and embrace my new beginnings as a young professional in Indianapolis.


I spent the next several weeks engaging with other Orr Fellows, jumping on opportunities to try new things, and really diving headfirst into the Indianapolis community. I attended local arts events, enjoyed the cuisine of some local restaurants, signed up for some networking events around town, and made a sincere effort to start listening to the advice that I had constantly heard.

After enjoying this new, fast-paced lifestyle for a number of weeks, I began to feel a little more complete in my new home, but also as though some of the deeper connections that I had in my life went missing. Sure, I had been enjoying my time in Indianapolis, and felt as though I was developing myself as well as my new friendships here, but I also realized that I missed so many things about my past.

I went back to my group messages with old friends, and realized something to which other young professionals starting out in a new city might be able to relate…everything was okay. I was still able to carryout the lifestyle I had adjusted to in the present.

It’s okay to admire your past, to remain faithful to all of the stories and memories of a previous life, as long as you’re not allowing it to hinder you from developing a present, like I originally was. It probably took me a little longer than most to realize that I could have the best of both worlds, which is why I want to share with everyone reading this now that, you can.

I love my hometown. I love my college experience and best friends. I love my present, and I can have it all. I now feel as though I am engaged in my new Indianapolis community, but also have a lifetime of friendships that I will never have to leave behind.

By Connor Donnelly

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