Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Quote That Freed Me

"The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there."
-L.P.Hartley, British novelist

When I came across this quote, it changed my life.
When I talk to people about where and who I have been on my life's journey,  I often use language like, 
 "my former self" or, "my past life" 
and I have felt guilty about this.
I think this is because deep down I don't  believe that the core of me (my beliefs, values, etc) is "gone" but the semantics and tone I use seems to "write off" where and who I have been within that core.
 I approach life so differently than I ever did in my teens, twenties and thirties and  I feel like I am a very, very different person than I was before.
This is probably true, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing, or even a unique thing, but I have been struggling with how to navigate who my  "former self"  is and not negate it. 
So, when I read this quote which was a part of a short memoir by James Ireland Baker in my Real Simple magazine, my jaw dropped and I stared at the words with wonder and relief.  
That was it.
I found the language I was searching for. 
My past feels like a foreign country--it exists, it's real, but they do things differently there. 
There's different
ways of life...
To embrace that  my "former self" speaks a different language and approaches values and ways of doing things differently than my present self, is so freeing.
It's liberating to know that I don't have to live in the past, but I can visit it and negotiate a balance between what is now and what is then. 
And, like I would in visiting any foreign country, 
I need preparation and planning; I need to get paperwork in order;
I need to formulate a plan of how to navigate the foreign places that may throw me for a loop. 
I also know that when I visit a foreign country I  rarely leave the same as when I arrived.
This makes me nervous, and excited. 
And then I get to come home. 
I get to live here, in the now with who I am today. 
And this is a good place to be.


  1. I think who you are now is pretty this your you!

  2. Well said, Kari. I love both your selves.

  3. I don't think it's possible for me to love this any more. Exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you!

  4. This is, without a doubt, my favorite post yet. Seriously wonderful.

  5. Ah, I loved this post. So beautiful and what a great way to think of the past. Enjoy your travels :)

  6. Oh my goodness such imagery. so gorgeous you want to get lost in it. and yes..."this" for me too is a "good place to be." :)

  7. It's amazing when a quote touches us so deeply. I can see why you connected to this one. There is a lot of meaning behind it.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  8. OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is, I think, though it is so hard to choose, my favorite blog post of yours to date. A-maz-ing...and I so resonate! This is Shana BTW. Heart YOU.

  9. Beautiful post! Isn't it amazing how much we change? I love the way you came into the now. Thanks for sharing!

  10. a very beautiful scenery =)
    great picts !!!
    interesting blog as well ^^
    keep blogging, dear..

    visit my blog sometimes..
    hope you'll be like & follow ^^