Why Ephemeral?

e·phem·er·al
əˈfem(ə)rəl
adjective
1.
lasting for a very short time;
short-lived; transitory

 

The first time I saw this word I think I was in my second year of college. I was proof reading a poem for one of my friends when I came across it. I realized that I had never seen it before, a realization that I absolutely love having, and so I looked it up right away. I immediately felt a connection to the word. Transitory, transient, fleeting, these were the synonyms I saw that just resonated with me so deeply. This word spoke to so much of who I was at the time, and still am. Physically and mentally, I am always seeking to move. One of my biggest motto’s in life is to never be stagnant. Never to stagnate in my growth as a person, never to stagnate in my learning, and to never stagnate in maintaining my relationships.

 

I have kind of been known in my family as the one who just really can’t stay put, and I like it that way. For the past four years, I have never been in one place for more than six months. I don’t really know what it is, I crave change and variation. So I guess in a physical sense this word directly describes me.

 

I think it is really interesting because one of the synonyms for the word ephemeral is transient, which I loved. It reminds me of the word fleeting which just seems so light and airy and free to me. Transient is such an interesting word though, because it has such a negative connotation. I can remember people in Missoula complaining with disgust, “Ugh, the transients are back”. They were referring to the nomads that pass through in the summer with their giant backpacks. There is just this crazy stigma about people who don’t settle in one place in this country. It seems to me that people think “Oh okay it is fine when you are young but once you hit a certain age, there are certain expectations”. Cue the judgmental looks that say, “Isn’t about time you start thinking about settling down? Isn’t it time for you to move out of your rebellious wild young phase into debilitating, boring routine life? Shouldn’t you be acting like a grown-up now?” Well guess what? I don’t want this phase to end. Stability sounds terrible to me right now. I understand some people want it and need it and that is okay but I don’t think this is just a phase for me. I think it is a part of my soul. I don’t want to ever settle because contentment breeds complacency and complacency breeds stagnation and stagnation breed mental paralysis. And that just breeds, ugh, gross. I am getting a weird feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.

 

I need to be moving and learning and seeing and feeling to breathe. How can you do that when you adhere to the rut of so-called normalcy? You can’t. Well, I can’t at least. So, there you go, that is why I love the word ephemeral and chose to name me and my blog after it. It represents constant change and fresh renewal and growth. Those are things I want to embody and expose myself to all the time.
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3 thoughts on “Why Ephemeral?

  1. Your mindset sounds like mine when I was in college and after graduating! I’d say we seem like kindred souls, cousins yet a generation apart, each given a strong foundation of love–of God, family, and the land. It allows us to fly away freely. I, too, studied abroad, traveled widely, had return culture shock, then moved abroad. I lived and loved large. “Fear complacency,” was my catch phrase.I, too, am a lifelong writer of journals, stories, and essays (the original meaning of “essay” is “to try!”). And now my husband and I are embarking on a new adventure; we sold our house, he’s leaving his job soon, and we’re moving to Texas, most likely. The details are tbd but we’ll drive away from Minneapolis in about 2 weeks…a midlife migration begins!

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    • Kristen, thanks so much for the comment. I think it is so cool we seem to be so much alike. Fear complacency is like exactly how I live. It is really good to hear you haven’t “settled” in the conventional sense of what American society tells us to do. It is good to know you are staying adventurous and playful! Also, thanks for reading. 🙂

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