It even rains differently here. It’s like the heavy sob of the skies; shaking and thundering as the tears pour down, drenching the earth with a hard drawn soaking. In London it was a tepid soft rain that hung in the air, constant and glistening, an ever-present, yet less impactful, vexation.
We are in a constant moment of change. Whether it is a slow awakening of spirit, or a descent unto death, it is a certainty in life – much like death and taxes.
I am writing about this now, after a hiatus in posts, because I have been overwhelmed by an ocean of change these last few months. I must admit, I am not particularly good in the face of change, and I don’t particularly like sharing myself when I am not at my best.
The funny thing about these last few months is that it was very much a choice of mine to participate in it. I moved jobs, homes, continents and consequently friends circles willingly. I chose to be a parent before that, accepting the lifestyle transformation I would inevitably incur. And yet, these changes, all rolled into one mass body of change, forced me into an ugly place. My temper was short. My steady pining for my last home was tedious (I still fall into this habit). My loneliness was debilitating. But I was there, watching it happen. Knowing, cognitively, that it was counterproductive: and yet, unable to stop myself from feeling and behaving this way.
If you have felt this way or feel this way, you probably know that at the crux of this is a very simple truth. Life is change, and change is hard. If you are in this space, give yourself a break. Moving from comfort to the unknown is scary. There is nothing wrong with feeling scared. And it is exhausting. Change tires you out because it forces you to use muscles and brain cells that your habit loving mind and body all but forgot existed. I had almost forgotten how much of an effort it can be to make new friends, to not share yourself completely because you don’t want to scare them off – that comes later!
What is wrong is behaving like a douche for longer than necessary (guilty as charged). I am at that point now where I raise my head, quite weary from the pummelling of change, and somewhat regretful for some of my more nasty turns as a victim of change; quite ashamed of the ‘I told you so’s’ and the ‘if we were in London’s.’
The thing is I was not always so resistant to change. There was a time in my life where the scent of a new opportunity, a new place, a new continent got me revved up like no other. I would stare out the window wide eyed and dreaming of a fresh start as the border lines of countries flew by. And it was always hard to find my place in the new jungle, but never a real problem. Now, I’ve realised, it’s harder because I am more committed to what I know. I am more reliant on the comfort of routine and belonging. Change is difficult because of what you are leaving behind.
I don’t think that this only applies to large continent moving change. I think this is about the changes that occur naturally and daily. We don’t like that our favourite barista has shut down, or that there is a new manager at work. Even when it is so obviously good for us: we struggle when our supermarket goes plastic free and we need to remember our bags from home.
But, the thing about change is what lies ahead. Change drives us. It is the inevitability that forces us to rethink our equilibrium. And sometimes, we need that to be rethought. Static can be devastating to our own growth. I was listening to Zadie Smith in an interview with Lena Dunham on a pod cast called Women of The Hour the other day, where Zadie suggested that change highlights our vulnerability. It forces us to face what we are lacking or what is weak within us. And it hit a nerve in me, because this whole blog is about addressing vulnerability and celebrating just being as we are. It is not about being when the going is easy or being when we are at our best.
So, I wanted to share that I am on the cusp of leaning into this immense change. Allowing it to percolate, so that I can recognise the opportunity it holds. For that is the other blessing of change, it opens a world of opportunity, often that which we were unaware of, or didn’t open ourselves to in the past.
The thing is I actually really love rain, regardless of what form it takes. Rain is so beautiful because it makes the earth really come alive.
I am on the cusp of making the most of this change, and I look forward to sharing more on this blog as I do. In the mean time have a wonderful festive season, may it be filled with the pleasure of just being.