How is it we manage to change behind our own backs? You can be going about your day, minding your business, when suddenly you notice something different about the way you feel or the way you’ve handled a situation. You surprise yourself.

It’s happened to me a few times recently and I’m wondering how much of it is part and parcel of exiting the cocoon. This one being the lethal cocktail of the lockdown and winter. You hadn’t noticed you were changing because you haven’t been looking or really paying any attention to much other than pushing on through to Spring. Now we see things in a different light and the change is clear. The experience has reforged us.

What does that truly mean though? I’ve been talking this through the past couple of days and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s about about a shift in what we want. What’s important and what we value. Had the events of the past year been over in month we’d have chalked the whole thing up to an interlude and continued as we were before. We are so far past that point now. I’m not convinced there’s much left at all that will pick up where it left off. Our evolution on the inbetween has been too significant.

This isn’t a commercial break between parts 1 and 2. The show was axed mid episode and something new, yet with the same cast, was commissioned to replace it.

We mostly had an idea of where we were heading in life. Some vague clue of what would be obtained along the way, whether that be experiences or material goods. I spent part of the last year missing things I’d never even had because my mind was fixed on the assumption I eventually would. That’s how looped in we are to the trajectories we set out for ourselves. Of course we’d think those things were due to us, every step we’ve taken so far was an investment to ensure it.

So once you realign and pick a new path, how much do you dwell on the old? I think we’re pretty good at changing tracks. I think we’ve been doing it our whole life. I think the pandemic put a hard freeze on our lives and rather than heading off in a different direction we stood still, glued to the future as it drifted further away.

By no means is this meant as a rallying call to tear up the book of our life and start again, more just my own realisation that it’s time to turn the page. I spent an equal part of the last year flipping back through, reading between the lines, making notes in the margins. Turns out there’s room for some creative licence in our self-authored next big twist.

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