Life is all about change and adaptability. In Romance, the character arc has to do with learning to be with another person. In At First Sight, Cress needs to learn to overcome her fears and learn to trust. Max needs to learn that burying his past isn’t possible and finding that if someone loves you, they are willing accept all of you, the good parts and the bad. They are both able to change, although it takes a lot of work for them to get there.
When I was writing history, I was very interested in change vs. continuity. One reason why defining the beginning and ends of historical periods is so difficult is because for all the change, there is still continuity. Life is like that.
How does this relate to our own lives and how do we change to cope with changing circumstances?
The events of the last eighteen months are illustrative of the ways we as individuals change, or don’t. While I am something of an introvert, I do spend a lot more time at home these days. Before COVID, I loved to explore the city, Going to museums, wandering downtown (the Loop for the uninitiated). Enjoying the great architecture of a great city. Attending concerts, opera, theater, and wonderful meals out with friends.
I met up with writing groups. We wrote scattered around in a coffee shop, then came together to discuss our progress and writing issues in general. Now we still write alone—at home—and then meet on Zoom.
I’ll still wear my mask. When you’re almost seventy and have medical conditions, you are still careful. But I’ve started taking public transportation again since I don’t own a car. I go into stores occasionally.
I’ve eaten in restaurants. I’ve been to a few events. I’ve got tickets for the season for the Lyric Opera. On the other hand, I’m still debating on other tickets. I admit I’m hesitant to go into large groups.
One of my theater friends is a good example of change. She has been an inveterate theatergoer for over forty years, frequently going two or three times in one week . But in the last eighteen months, all of that has come to a halt. And now, when theaters are starting to reopen, she's not sure whether she wants to get season's tickets to the theaters we usually patronize, or single ticket for targeted performances, or just stop going altogether. A long but temporary change in circumstance has led to what might be a permanent change in her choice of activities.
All this comes down to the choices we make, our outlook on the future, what we've learned to live without, and what we consider so essential that we are chomping at the bit to get back.
How do you make your decisions about life? Do you forge ahead? Hold back? Make drastic changes or adopt a wait and see attitude?
In the end, Max and Cress decide they are all in. I am cautiously dipping my toes in the water. How about you?
Goodreads giveaway for At First Sight available through Aug. 31, 2021