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The Beauty of Starting Over (ish)

Have you every really thought about the beauty of starting over? The gift of being able to choose what to bring with you? What do you choose to leave behind? What if you couldn’t?

Being in the midst of moving, I am being confronted quite a bit with the idea of starting over. I’ve mentioned this a few times, from reminiscing about my favorite moments while living in Streeterville to deciding finally to recycle my graduate and undergraduate architecture, architectural history, and preservation notes. Hot on the heels of my return to Columbia and reunion with my grad school friends, I think that moment of getting rid of those notes hit me the most. In so many ways, I was finally, decidedly, solemnly, closing that chapter of my life. 

The Beauty of Starting Over. How do you move on with out letting go of the past? @suzlyfe

I’ve known for a long time that my architecture “career” (lack thereof) was fruitless. I never even had a paying job in that field. I can’t really describe my tenure at the real estate firm as a paying job in the field. Yet I am published, people still read and download my Columbia graduate thesis, and I will always have an affinity for aesthetics, history, social condition, and the intersection of it all, played out in space and time.

I feel kind of like I was closing the album on my first love, honestly. Well, my second love. My first love was definitely horses. So, fine, my second serious relationship. Alex is my third serious relationship, and the love of my life. Fitness is something that we share, and a relationship with myself. Mom is love before there were numbers. 

I’ll never truly shut the books on any of them. I still carry each of these pieces with me: in coffee table books and copies of the book that I edited (architecture); pictures of me riding in the big shows as well as playing with my boys (horses); running marathons, halfs, and lifting (fitness); and, of course, pictures with my mom and pictures with Alex. 

When you move apartments, and when you move through life, you get to choose who and what you take with you, even if those people and things don’t choose to come along in their entirety.

I was listening to an episode of This American Life “In Defense of Ignorance” yesterday during my run (I totally recommend this episode, it was absolutely fascinating, each part!) and one of the acts was about the people who have highly superior autobiographical memory. In short, these people cannot let go of the past. There are a handful of them in the world, and they can recall just about every detail of their life, some as if it happened yesterday.

People with HSAM don’t have the luxury of rendering the fat down to the meat. No matter how much they get rid of physically, they will always carry the past along with them. Absolutely, there are positives to being able to relive moments of your past and remember particular details (you would be ace at trivia night). But one of the greatest gifts that our brains can give us at times is the ability to forget, or at the very least, to move on. To chose what we want to take with us. 

I am clearing out the junk but keeping the pith. I have chosen, bit by bit, to release certain interests of mine as I have refined who I am and evolved over time in order to make room for more evolution. I may not need my architecture notes, but I won’t be giving up my thesis papers any time soon.

Clearing the junk but keeping the pith--the beauty of starting over (ish) #bgbcommunity #sweatpink Click To Tweet

What is a part of your path that you have released, but not forgotten?

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