I’m a firm believer in pseudo-change. As in, everything changes, but nothing ever really changes.
The other day my best friend and I went on a little adventure. We took a trip back to the place we used to escape to as kids–the woods by the boyscout trail behind our grade school. As little third and fourth graders we would jump over the creek using stepping stones to reach Our Place. That’s what we always called it. Our Place. There was no path; we would high-step through the weeds until we found the clearing area. There were trees to shelter from the sun, grass beneath our feet, vines to swing from, branches to perch upon. We would search for golf balls, miss-hits from the nearby golf course; speculate which teachers had come back here to drink, leaving behind their beer cans or coffee cups. We would spend hours back there, everyday after school, until our mothers would be hoarse from shouting for us.
This was years ago.
When MaKayla and I went back, things had changed. The creek now had a wooden footbridge over it. The water had run dry. The lake it ran from had shrunk considerably. There was a path leading right back to where we used to go, lined with wood and everything. The vines had broken and fallen, the branches were not as high as they used to be. It was no longer a challenge to reach the perfect seat. Everything was different. Our Place was not the paradise escape it once was in our eyes, now we only saw dying trees, and suspicious weeds that could be poison ivy.
Our Place was not the only thing that changed–we had changed too. MaKayla and I are almost adults, we’ve gotten taller and wiser. We didn’t need our moms to holler for us to come back; we made our way home when it was time. The biggest change was that it was the two of us. We used to be three. Yes, there was a third, a boy, but he made his choices. Those old memories are all we will share. It isn’t in the cards for our trio to make new ones.
But all of this change, all of this uproar, it isn’t real. It’s pseudo-change. Because nothing really changed. Nothing important, anyway.
MaKayla and I still sat on the branches, and there were still beer cans to ponder. There will always be bad shots on a golf course, and we must have found a dozen golf balls. The trees still sheltered from the sun.
MaKayla and I still fight about the same things, or laugh about the same jokes.
My mom used to be home everyday, all the time. Now she is as busy as a bee. But we still sing along to the same songs in the car.
My dad used to be home late, used to travel the world. Now he works on the yard, or the pool. But the amount of effort he puts in is still the same.
I used to worry about what would happen to Hannah Montana in the next episode, and whether I wanted more ice cream for dessert. Now I worry about the state of our nation, and how I’m going to pay for college. But I still can finish a book in a day, and I still kick my socks off when I sleep.
Maybe a lot has changed. But maybe nothing has changed. I think it’s all about perspective. Because from my point of view, everything is different, but it all is just the same.