How Many Changes Are We Allowed?




How many times have we pulled up the tent stakes, cut our hair, bought a new outfit and thought, “This is me now.”

I am a child of movement.

The tides ebb and flow, and my heart is pulled like a washing machine through the emotions of seasons.

I have to ask myself, as I try to settle comfortably into “later 20s…”

How much is healthy? How many re-try’s, do-overs and quick turns are we “allowed?”

I’ve gone from art school drop-out, Navy firefighter, outdoor guide, nanny, ski instructor, road-tripper, forever-waitress, hostel host, writer and an ever long passionate protestor of mediocrity. My heart is heavy and grateful with how much it has been stitched up and packed full again (and again), but is that enough?

Where do we plant our roots to grow into something that lasts longer than the first brush of lust, whether it be for a piece of music, mountains, a beach town or a long-haired, handsome mystery?

A dear nomadic friend told me once, “Jill, there are no rules.”

It took him some time—and a Guatemalan guru—to know this. But still, it takes practice to become human nature.

The simplest realizations seem to be the most earth-rocking to discover.

There are no rules. There is no giant checklist that we have to tick off (with our giant pencils).

It’s more like a quantum physics spectrum (as if I’m an expert at mathematical paradigms).

We choose things and hope that they lead to the blissful state of happy that we are all waiting to slide into like a good pair of jeans.

But maybe we are completely and hilariously trying for the wrong angle in our quick and beautifully precious Iives.

We are in balance with the ever-changing and expanding universe

Do no harm, but take no sh*t. That is a valid and agreeable rule.

But the rest—the checklists of college, euro-travel, buying “stuff,” changing and scaling down your desires, children, marriage…

This life is a compilation of moments. That’s it.

And maybe that’s freaking enough.

Maybe that takes the pressure off for our days to acquire momentum and always be blindingly headed towards the next goal. Maybe if we instead choose to linger in our choices a bit longer—choose to accept the ever-changing heart—then it will all make sense.

Or maybe life lies in a good cup of patiently made coffee, and the feeling of being in an okay spot, for now.


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