I’ve grown to like consistency.
Like seeing the lady who works the late shift at Pick N’ Save on the bus on my way home from work. How she always wears the same faded Levi jeans and sits at the same window seat. How when she gets off and the bus driver tells her to have a goodnight, she sighs and says, “I’ll try.”
Like the tree across the street from my grandparent’s house. How it’s strung with blue lights and has become my own, personal landmark. The countless times I haven’t been able to tell people where I live but instead told them “take a left at the blue tree.”
Or how the baristas, at the local coffeehouse, always know my order. And when they don’t, they get embarrassed because heck, I go there often enough they should know my order.
I like the small aspects of my life that stay the same. Because recently, it feels like everything is changing. And I don’t know how to keep up.
When I first came to Wisconsin, I wanted change more than anything. I wanted a change of scenery, to have new experiences and to meet new people. Ultimately, I wanted to open a new chapter in my life. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.
For a while, it felt like I was merely outlining this so-called “new chapter” I had anticipated for so long. It felt like I had all these ideas that just weren’t coming together, like I was a document with a word count of 0. But then, all of a sudden, I woke up one morning and 50 pages worth of words magically appeared. Empty words. Run ons and typos and fragments that would make you cringe (or would make me cringe at least). Recently, it seems like I’ve been spewing jumbles of nonsense onto the blank pages of my new chapter. And I don’t have a clue what to do with them.
I kind of liked being a blank document. Having the freedom to do as I pleased, without a sense of guilt for backtracking meaningless letters or falling in love with the cadence of a sentence then later realizing, it doesn’t even make sense. I’ve recently realized that I’ve reached a point in my life where I can’t keep refreshing the page and hoping for better luck. I’ve realized that with living comes words that you can’t always take back. And I need to be okay with that.
Moving to Wisconsin was a huge change for me. It scared me at first to make ties and open up to people. I was a little delusional to think that I could come here to work and fulfill school requirements but put a pause on all my emotional needs or casually slip away from socialization. I think I was so wrapped up in the excitement of change, that familiarity and consistency made my experience here feel more real. And, at the time, I didn’t like that.
But now, I feel a sense of belonging here. I like that I’m making new relations and gaining new experiences that tie me down, and not necessarily in a bad way. Being a blank document was certainly more convenient but it lacked fulfillment. After all, a blank page is just a blank page. A jumble of nonsense has the potential to become something worthwhile.
Life has a weird way of falling into place and I’m certain that my messy manuscript, in time, will become something worthy of saving.