After our honeymoon to Greece, Chris and I were on the same page: we were definitely going back someday or we were never going back at all.
We were in total agreement that we were entirely unsure.
It is one of the most magical, incredible places on Earth. We were fortunate enough to have been able to go during a time when we had no children, two incomes and work was generous enough to leave us alone entirely. And! We weren't homeowners. In fact, a tree fell on our rental while we were gone and we didn't have to do anything. Not even place a phone call! Our landlord had it cleaned up by the time we got home.
On the return flight, we both agreed that, while we loved it so much we were already dreaming of returning, we could never recreate such a magical trip. Attempting to do it again would almost risk detracting from our honeymoon. It might taint the memories, making us wonder if it was really that great, or if we just had those rosy newlywed glasses on.
I thought of this recently as I sat in church. Chris and I have been - for lack of a better term - church shopping. As you may know, our church in Atlanta is one of the things we miss the most, but we recently found one that could be a fit. As I sat there last Sunday, allowing the good in this new church to wash over me, it hit me: I need to stop trying to recreate our old one. I need to let this church be what it is and not force it into a previously created mold. It's not fair to anyone, ourselves included, if we are constantly looking for what we had in Atlanta in Virginia.
And then I realized we do this all the time in life.
When we go on dates after a breakup, we compare the new guy to our ex, longing for the rosy memories of the past.
When we start new jobs, we compare our new coworkers to our old ones, dreaming of familiar coffee breaks with them.
When we move to new cities, we suddenly glorify the old ones, missing the restaurants, coffee shops and friends we had there.
But it hit me Sunday that it's entirely unfair to compare something new and unfamiliar to something that is already established and familiar.
Your ex may have been funnier or taller or smarter. But it didn't work with him for a reason!
Your coworkers might have been the best part of your old job, but you did not quit without cause.
That city you're dreaming of? I'll bet it was something special. But not so special to keep you from moving.
If we stop comparing the present moments to the past, perhaps we'll be able to see that we needed something different all along. If we stop looking for what once was and, instead, make room for what is now, maybe we'll be able to grow and move forward more easily.
A trip to Greece would be different now, that's for sure. We have just one income, a baby and are homeowners. But I'd imagine the trip could still be pretty incredible as a family of three.
This is, of course, all fictitious for now; we aren't going back to Greece anytime soon. But, today, as life begins to change in a whole new way, I'm remembering to hold on to the past with a grateful heart, while looking forward to the future with joy and open hands.
Here's to you, tomorrow, in all of your newness, unfamiliarity and adventure.