Monday, October 5, 2009

Comfort in the Familiar

There is comfort in the familiar. And where there is comfort, there is rest. And where there is rest, there is rejuvenation. And where there is rejuvenation, there is growth. Which is what life is all about.

I've spent a lot of time with 20-somethings who have left the nest, left college, left the familiar. Stretched themselves in new directions, in new locales, new lifestyles, new company.

It's exciting! (And exhausting.)

After college, life comes at you like a freight train---and you don't know where it's going. You either jump on board or let it run you over. It can feel kind of terrifying.

It also feels exhilarating. (I remember.) The same lack-of-a-definite-game-plan that leaves you wondering how the heck you're going to weave a life also holds the promise for unlimited potential---for surprises, for opportunity, for greatness, however you define that. For making your mark. For finding your path under all the overgrowth of the past.

Things work out, one way or another, and the path reveals itself when you look back at it. But while you're out there choosing direction, putting one foot in front of the other just to keep moving, it can feel like you're not getting anywhere, or lost in unfamiliar territory.

That's when you need to find comfort in the familiar.

It is surprisingly easy to do.

Touch base with the people who are most familiar to you.
Go somewhere that feels familiar.
Whether it's a food, a place, music, activity---recreate it where you are. Give yourself the gift of the familiar when life feels strange.
Let yourself be a little kid again for an hour. The real world will still be there when you return.

And I'll bet you feel a bit more ready for it when you do.

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