One of my favorite quotes is by Anatole France: “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another.”
I used to think this applied to the time last year when I quit my job, cashed out my savings and tried to move to LA (don’t know that story? Well stay tuned, I’ll cover it at some point!). But, now I realize the saying has a much broader meaning in my life – and my quest to be a better Samantha.
I’ve always looked at change as this necessary evil – a temporary road block for me to work around. I’ve never embraced it – and I’ve certainly never accepted it in my life. I like to have things my way – all the time. So the idea of letting going of who I used to be….in order to become who I want to be is really tough for me to swallow. Can’t I stay the way I am? I’m fabulous, dammit! Well yes, I am fabulous….and fat. I don’t want to be fat and unfit anymore. So, I need to maintain the fabulous…and slowly accept the changes that come with being more fit.
Webster’s tells me change is defined as to make different; cause a transformation. The logical part of me knows that means I can’t “just hang on to a few old, bad habits”. It’s a moot point. This makes me giggle now, but I used to make a promise to myself every time I started a new diet – “Once you lose x number of pounds….you can go back to the way you used to eat”. Really? REALLY!? Sigh. How foolish! If I go back to what I always did….I’ll get what I always got. Duh.
So, I’m dying to one life (metaphorically) in order to embrace a new, healthier one. But, am I allowed to mourn my old life? I think I should be! Coming to terms with not only breaking bad habits, but building new, healthy habits isn’t easy. But, who ever said this was going to be easy?! I don’t miss my old, bad habits….but I do miss how easy it was to be content being fat. I know, you’re appalled- but hear me out. Eating whatever I wanted, at any restaurant and not thinking about what went in my mouth was EASY. It’s *hard* thinking about my food, planning out what I’m going to eat (especially if going out is involved) – it’s hard to keep myself accountable – but I’m learning. It’s not an overnight change. Rome was not built-in a day. New, healthy Samantha won’t be either.
I’’m not quite into my new life yet, I have a long way to go. But, in butterfly stages – I have accepted that I’m not destined to be the caterpillar…and I know I need to work harder before I become a butterfly. I’m in change limbo. I Googled “metamorphosis” just to see if my analogy holds up. It does (nerdy science lesson digression) – Every insect begins life as an egg. The egg is the embryo stage. The larva hatches from the egg. The larva is the eating and growing stage. Caterpillars are larvae that grow up to be butterflies. A larva’s exoskeleton can’t stretch or grow, so the larva sheds its skin, or molts, several times as it grows. (aka OLD life). When a larva has finished growing, it forms a pupa. The pupa is the insect’s transforming stage. Outside, the pupa looks as if it’s resting. But inside, the entire body is rearranging. New organs, muscles and body parts develop. (current stage!). When it has finished changing, the pupa molts one last time, emerging as an adult. (NEW life! Huzzah!).
I’m currently working on a bellydance piece surrounding this concept of metamorphosis- once I perform I might just post the video here (a first for me!). Now, I’m leaving you with another favorite quote – that I have hanging on my fridge at home.