asphalt road between trees

Change, Purpose, And How Life Comes Full Circle

The sky is gray again. It’s the fifth time this week. Winters in Buffalo, New York have a reputation of insurmountable snowfalls. That’s not exactly the case in this particular suburb of the city (blame it on the unpredictable lake-effect, I suppose), but it’s the lack of sunlight that can be challenging during the wintry months. Many of us love the brighter outlook that the rays exude, and I’ve always been a sucker for symbolism.

* * *

Everything serves a purpose. A phrase I use to describe many past phases that no longer suit me; a relationship, a friendship, a general time of being caught up in the hope of what was in front of me.

* * *

I never planned on moving eight hours away from what was known, from what was comfortable. However, after three years, I wasn’t about to attempt a long distance relationship in my late twenties (especially knowing my ultra sensitive and emotionally needy personality). I would be a weeping mess. Case closed.

After a short stay in Mid-Coast Maine, after a revitalizing dalliance in a freshwater lake surrounded by mountains, and after reflecting on our ingrained intimacy, I knew it was time to try living together. There were still a few years of school underway (for him; I was an idealistic writing graduate, supplementing income for my true passion). And since the cost of living was incredibly high in the tristate region, it only made sense to seize the opportunity to continue a degree in the far reaches of Western New York, where we could embark on the next relationship chapter. While being able to pay bills while doing so, of course.

* * *

I imagined it would always be sentimental to leave home, for real, for the first time, but considering the fact that I’m an extremely nostalgic person to begin with, the eight-hour move, for real, for the first time, hit a bit harder. It felt right, though. I knew, in those early days that this would be the purposeful period I’d always reminisce about — this would be the era that was meant to be for that time.

* * *

Sometimes what is right and inherently positive can still have challenges; black and white circumstances are hardly ever the case. There are lots of colorful shades and various tones. Discouragement over an unpredictable job market. Lonely days searching for brand new friends who don’t necessarily want to be found. People settle in their ways about now. Dinners where I pine for a legitimate slice of New York City pizza. (That desire is very pertinent, by the way.) A yearning for a bigger space. The Atlantic Ocean on a summer day or night. And then there’s the grey winters that seem to permeate through, making it just a bit tougher to deliberately pick up the pieces.

* * *

As I’m writing this, I’m in the homestretch. Over two years have passed since our move, and we are close to coming back downstate. Sometimes, perspectives become crystallized. More bold. We realize, even moreso, where we want to be. I know for me, I would love to be closer to where I have a history. To where I’m rooted.

I need to always reflect, though, because that’s just a part of me. The truth of the matter is that there will still be a little nostalgia about this period as well. Despite the hard moments and despite the gray days, the neighborhood has become more and more familiar. The pretty tree-lined streets where I frequently take walks. (Sometimes, I even spot a deer or two.) The fresh, peaceful night air. The blankets of snow that can certainly bring a sense of serenity. The aisles of Wegmans that have become a weekly ritual. The downtown waterfront on a summer evening. Beaver Island. The summertime, in general, less humidity included. The corner nook of the living room, where I can light a candle, look out the window, and seize the season.

* * *

A transitional period is coming down the line once more. I look forward to coming back to our neck of the woods; I look forward to being closer to family, friends, and pathways that have known me for a long time.

And yet, I can also say that I will fondly remember the purpose of being in Buffalo, New York. Life comes full circle that way. And as I type this on an afternoon in February, I see the sun making an appearance in the wintry sky.

About the author
New poetry collection, Never Far Behind. Details in bio. 💙💜 Follow Lauren on Twitter or read more articles from Lauren on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.

Related