Thinking back and looking ahead

Today, I got looking through old diary entries from the time when I moved up here to Rochester. As I read through them, it amazed me to notice how things have progressed since then. Things simply didn’t work out the way I expected them to. But that’s okay, because I like the way things turned out better than I would’ve had they gone the way I’d originally planned.

I think one of the things that truly amuses me is the fact that I mentioned in two separate entries how close the mall was to my townhouse. I was quite excited about that fact when I moved in. That’s understandable, as the closest mall to me back when I lived with my parents was more than thirty minutes away by car.

Today, I rarely go to the mall. (And when I do, I will often make the trip out to the Eastview Mall instead.) In reality, I’m just not a big shopper, and I realized that hanging out at the mall and people watching (one of my original goals) just wasn’t my style. I’d much rather interact with people rather than watch them. So now, I’m finding myself preferring the coffee shops and other venues where conversation is more likely to pop up.

Of course, I still like that all the other stores that cropped up around the mall are still there. Being ten minutes from Best Buy, Borders, Target, and Wal-Mart is still a plus. But those are conveniences, whereas the closeness of a mall was a novelty that quickly wore off.

Shortly after I moved, I also started making plans to volunteer at Lollypop Farms. I’ve officially given that up. I quit going regularly back before Christmas and just decided that while I enjoyed working with the cats and chatting with the staff and volunteers as we worked side by side, I’d rather sleep in after doing things on Saturday nights. And any other shift would similarly interfere with other activities I’ve gotten into since coming to the area.

I also tried three classes through the Rush-Henrietta school district’s continuing education program the first nine months I was here. I enjoyed every last one of them, but they weren’t quite what I expected. I had joined to meet people, and I did exactly that. But I also found that most of them were older people. As I was and am trying to meet people in my own age bracket, I decided to give that a halt.

However, I will note that I’m toying with the idea of teaching a class. The blogging class I took through them was discontinued after the first quarter they tried it. This was because the instructor for the class took a new job and was no longer able to teach the class. I’ve considered talking to the continuing education office about teaching my own class of that sort. But I haven’t committed yet.

While I didn’t mention it in any of the diary entries back then, I would also note that I had originally checked out COAP. Back then, I decided not to join. Most of the events they described at the time were outings and trips, and I just couldn’t see myself getting involved when I didn’t know anyone. And yet, now, I’m becoming an increasingly active member in COAP. I’ve attended the last three game nights, and I’m off to a dinner this evening and eagerly anticipating the increased number activities that Woody says tend to start in the summer.

Learning about game night from Rob contributed greatly to my decision to reconsider my position on COAP. I wasn’t prepared to go to Toronto with a bunch of strangers. But I could definitely see myself sitting around playing board games (actually, we have yet to play one) and card games with them. It was a setting that I could be relatively comfortable in, and it’s proved quite rewarding.

But I also think it was a matter of me just not being ready until this past February. As I look back over the past twenty months, I realize that I’ve gone through a lot of growth and healing which have greatly boosted my self-confidence. This in turn has helped me learn to be more open to and even desire increased socialization. And I was able to see how much I needed it. So things changed, and now I’m ready to take those extra steps that I was only ready to talk about back when I moved here. In some ways, I guess you could say that moving here began a transitional period in my life that is only now drawing to a close. And as it does, I’m finding myself with a stronger foundation to reap the benefits of those changes.

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