Picture a corkscrew. It’s curvy, curved in one direction. Hold that corkscrew horizontally. As you trace the curve, it moves forward and also curves back around to where it started. If you drew a line on the top of the corkscrew, each point on the metal part of the screw would line up, the spaces between are where the metal of the corkscrew happens on the other side.
So picture each of those points being your birthday. You have a birthday. Then the year plays out. You follow the path of the corkscrew. When you reach your next birthday, you are at the same line, the same plane as the previous turn in the screw, but further down the line – one year older.
Everything comes around again. Time moves relentlessly forward, but curves as well, never to return to the same spot, though it will cross along the same plane. Is it any wonder that DNA, the genetic makeup of our very being, is a double helix, two lines of a corkscrew running parallel to each other joined together?
Sometimes it feels like we go backwards. We lose relatives to time. Death comes for all. We lose relationships. Change comes for all. We lose jobs or financial stability. Uncertainty comes for all.
But we’re not moving backwards, even if we’re not achieving our goals or making progress as we intended. Those intentions are merely dreams, goals, ambitions – not reality. They are hopes. And often enough we achieve those hopes. We get the job we wanted. We get the big promotion. We earn more money. We find the partner of our dreams. We get married. We get that house with the picket fence and 2.4 kids and 1.3 pets, and 3 1/2 baths and 3 cars. But then something happens. A recession comes. A job is lost. A health scare leads to scarcity of money. Changes must be made. The house must be sold. The pets grow and die. The children grow and move away. The relationship survives but the shared goals are different now.
The one thing you have through all of this curving and twisting is you. It’s not even that you have to change with the times. It’s hard to see ourselves. We have no perspective. We have to stay true to who we are AND change at the same time – adapt or die.
But a different perspective is that you can’t help but change. You are never at the same point on that corkscrew. Even if you think that you have remained the same, remained true to yourself, haven’t changed, have retained your integrity – everyone is different in some way after a year. The experiences you have had, the triumphs and losses have made you MORE you than ever before.
Change is inevitable. Evolution – that dreaded word that conjures up arguments between faith and science – is merely change. And change happens whether you believe it or not, or whether you have the science background to prove it or not. Change is the one unalterable fact of life.
So celebrate your triumphs, console yourself through your losses, and keep on keeping on. Because time and this world stops for no one, and change will happen whether you are onboard or not.