The horror of the “same old thing” is one of the most restricting passions of the human heart.
We wear the word mundane, with shame.
We dread that something be the same as it was before, for to be unchanged, is to be failing.
Without realising, my demand for change diminishes my pleasure and increases my desire, whilst simultaneously emptying my pockets, and my sense of satisfaction.
When I finished high school 3 years ago, I went on an adventure. And I did some incredible things, things I don’t regret doing, and things I will truly treasure for the rest of my life. However, I am beginning to realise that although taking on new challenges and striving for cool, great things is not necessarily bad, for me, pursuing adventures for myself has at times blinded me to the reality of the consistent beauties that already exist in my life.
I have been living a “mundane” “normal” life again for over a year since my trip.
“Back to study” “Back to work” “Back to living at home” “Back to the same old thing.”
And secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, I seem to circle back to a longing to be elsewhere, back there, somewhere different, somewhere exciting.
But this position is crippling, and it traps me behind these dulling lenses which suck the life and colour out of all that goes on around me. It labels my routines, my work, my relationships, my local adventures, BORING.
How arrogant. I ask a public pardon for my self-indulgence and lack of perspective.
To the people and places that wrap themselves around me daily, I see you now for what you are.
I see you now; family. Three of the brightest lights I’ve ever encountered, constantly dripping goodness into my life. Ever loving me in my lowest moments, in my mundane, in my grumpy home mood, in my tireless rants, in my constant rush to do something else or be somewhere else and giving you no time. You love me with a love that has not changed, and takes time to form. And neither expect nor desire anything other than the me that walks through the door.
I see you now; local church community. I see your faithfulness. That has not changed, and takes time to form. I see your rising and falling breath. I see your swells of excitement and your weary sighs. I see you carrying your weakest members, because they are too young to talk or too old to walk. I see you, young people, that I lead in a small, pretty standard, Anglican youth group. Who trust me with your worries and your thoughts and your friendships on a weekly basis. Who dare to ask questions, out of cheekiness, or genuine desire to know more. Who let me in. Thank you.
I see you now; loyal friends. I see you in your adulthood, and yet I still feel that childlike ease when I’m with you. I see you making big choices and bearing up under pressure, just barely, I see you. I see you reaching out to me still, and I see where you tried to in the past and I overlooked you. I see the same mannerisms I saw in you in our first year of high school. That have not changed, that take time to form.
Chasing change has robbed me of the joy these things bring.
So my goal now is not so much to go. And to take.
To go on new adventures. And take away experiences.
My goal is to see the collective adventure that is constantly in front of me, in all of it’s intricacy. I want to remember to see beyond my own experience. And give.
To be where I am. And open my eyes.
To know that if something is unchanged, it is consistent, and real, and lasting.
And that is rare.
Katie Wivell is a social work student at Massey University and part time youth pastor at St John’s Campbell’s Bay. She loves food, people and fitness, and is a killer spoken word poet.