Around the Corner

Sunday, January 12, 2014 / 8:00 AM

"People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying." -You've Got Mail

The cell phone store across the street is now a pizza place.

Or maybe it used to be a nail salon. I can't remember. The neighborhood has changed so much over the last two years.

It shouldn't be too surprising to see the storefronts change so quickly in such a short amount of time. Life in New York City seems to happen faster than anywhere else. In one year, a building can be torn down, resurrected, and transformed; in one month, I've seen the corner deli change is name three times.

I suppose there's something poetic in watching the outside world change: the idea that nothing is permanent becomes a real, tangible truth, and it reminds me that I, too, have changed.

Of course I've changed. You have too. "You are not going to be you," Nora Ephron said in 1996 at her commencement address to Wellesley College, "fixed and immutable you, forever."

So if this change is inevitable, then it's only fitting our goals and dreams and everything that makes up who we are as individuals can change too. For years and years, I wanted to be a jazz pianist or performer of some kind. Then I thought I might want to act. When I decided to major in journalism with zero experience to support why I thought it would be a good idea, I was certain I would change my mind the following year.

What you may have wanted a year or two ago might not be what you want right now, and I think that's OK to admit without being afraid someone will judge you for changing course over a period of time. Change is good, as long as you're not letting others make all of your decisions for you. And even when the decision isn't yours, embrace the possibilities that lie ahead--you never know what doors may end up opening on your new path.

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