Years ago we had this beautiful silver birch tree at the front of our yard. I’d spent countless summers hanging upside down on the half-tyre suspended from its sturdiest branch, staring up towards the spikey edged leaves, home to my favourite metallic ladybugs. I pled with my parents to reconsider its removal, necessary to make way for the new deck extension, and toyed with the idea of refusing to ever leave my room should the plan go ahead (dramatic, as per).
I balled my eyes out when that tree was cut down. And as I stared at the makeshift “R.I.P” sign sitting on the fresh stump (courtesy of the builders well aware of my recent trauma), I knew that change wasn’t to be my forte.
I never felt it as a fear of the unknown, or an unwillingness to step out of my comfort zone (I suppose in a way it was). I guess I just figured why change a good thing? When things were fine the way they were? People say nothing lasts forever and all good things must come to an end. Something I never really understood, until I did, without even noticing.
Staying grounded in my roots has left me a sentimental old soul. Boxes of cards and memorabilia collect dust under my bed and I’m forever struggling to part with clothes that remind me of special times (alongside the fact I’m still the size of my year 7 self lol).
I’m scared of my parents growing old, of a life without my grandparents, or my friends having babies and moving away. It makes me sad to think that the beach I grew up on won’t always look the same, or that one day the store might stop selling Kuaotunu Killers. That the memories I hold close are just that and can never be repeated.
But the only thing scarier is the thought of being stagnant. Motionless, unproductive, overly comfortable and complacent. Too stuck in my old ways to greet what’s next and unable to look forward.
I write this anticipating the start of a new job come Monday, and my tummy squirms knowing it’s change I’ve brought upon myself. But the things is, I’m not completely miserable and in need of a life overhaul, I’m perfectly happy, just ready for something new.
My parents probably were too, when it was time to cut down that tree. Though we didn’t, they knew our climbing days were numbered, how soon our adventures would take us beyond the backyard. That the remodelled space meant more room for family gatherings (parties), and a shiny new sleep out (which we wouldn’t fully appreciate until our teens).
It’s super tempting to re live the past, but that much more exciting to believe the best is yet to come.
(FYI: my parents don’t hate the environment and I can confirm we still have plenty of trees).