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.