I got in touch with an old friend today.
The only language she knows is music which must be why we get along so well. We used to spend hours together at a time and for years she was a huge part of my life. Now I see her only about once a year but she still means a lot to me.
Meet my clarinet. (I know, I know. What the actual fuck.) So I’m a nerd. Sue me.
In all seriousness…my clarinet has known me for a long, long time. Nineteen years to be exact.
It’s known me since my geeky elementary school days, before I had any real heartbreak, before I had a career, before I lived on my own.
As such, it’s been with me through quite a lot, even if it spent the past eight years stuffed in my closet. (I promise I’m a much better friend to humans.)
There’s a reason why I reached out for my clarinet today. To me, it symbolizes comfort, something that I seek a lot of lately as I go through an intense period of transition.
A major career change (and with it, a lifestyle change) and the loss of someone who I used to rely on for comfort has me in a state of “what is my life and can it feel more secure ASAP, please and thank you!”
I’m also mentally gearing up for a huge move in the coming months, which will only exacerbate these feelings.
My need for comfort is likely not going away any time soon.
In the past couple of months, I’ve found myself walking down city streets that I haven’t been on in ages for the sole purpose of bringing me back to a simpler time of my life.
I’ve also purchased a coffee pot (the tiniest, most adorable two-cup antique) even though I don’t drink coffee, so that I can smell it in the morning and be reminded of home. Don’t worry, I will do this sparingly so as not to waste it (and also because that shit’s expensive).
I started doing workout videos that I haven’t done in four years.
And now, I broke out the trusty clarinet.
I sound like I’m going through a not-quite-mid-life crisis.
Although I joke about it being a friend, my clarinet really contributes to my life in a similar way as a human would.
Music is one of the most dependable things I have in this world. Without fail, it is always there when I need it.
As I go through this period of transition, the familiarity of my clarinet and old songs I used to play bring comfort that few other things can.
They bring me back to a time when my life was less complicated and more stable.
Sometimes I really miss that.
As much as I look forward to my future and trust that everything will work out as it should, I’m allowing myself to seek comfort and familiarity in order to cope with life’s current craziness.
It’s okay to know where you’re going but still be anxious and afraid of the in between.
And if you don’t quite know where you’re going, it’s even more okay. It’s natural to seek comfort when you’re lacking it.
Be compassionate with yourself. Life is hard and uncertainty is scary. I don’t suggest regressing to the point where you’re living in the past, but I believe it’s absolutely okay to backtrack a little to the simpler moments when you need them.
Often we lose bits of ourselves over time and with our busy everyday lives we don’t even realize.
In times of transition it can be grounding to go back to things or people that were constants throughout your life.
An old friend, be it a clarinet or human being. A cozy cafe you used to frequent. Even the thought of a nice memory.
Do what you have to do for yourself and remember that this state is temporary.
As my spiritual uncle always reminds me: Everything changes.