Learning How To Love Change
In two weeks’ time my flatmates and I are moving into a new flat.
For those who remember my mould experience (and quite frankly, how could you forget), this will sound like a hallelujah-moment. And in a lot of ways it is! The flat is amazing; it’s in a good suburb, it has carpet (!), it sees the sun (!!) and – pause for dramatic effect – it appears to be without mould.
By all accounts I should be f*cking excited. But lest we forget this is a woman who, historically, hates change.
I’m a flat liner, and change is difficult for me. When I discover a new food I like, whether it be a breakfast food, vegetable, type of sushi, salad dressing, or brand of gluten free toast, I will compulsively eat it every single day for several weeks or months until I have physically developed an aversion to it.
If I could fly on the same airline, with the same pilot, and the same flight attendants for the rest of my life I would.
When planning family holidays, I am the only family member to suggest destinations we’ve already been to, attractions we’ve already seen and hotels we’ve already stayed in. It wouldn’t be boring – to me – if we flew to the same country for a holiday each year and simply recreated the same memories each time.
(But obviously apart from all of that I am very relaxed, low maintenance, easy going, a real guys-girl and highly dateable).
So even though I’m overjoyed to be swapping damp and mouldy Ponsonby for warm and dry Parnell, it’s also thrown me off kilter because I can’t anticipate things in the same way I used to. I don’t know what to expect and therefore can’t plan for it. I don’t know if the neighbours will be noisy, I don’t know what supermarket I’ll go to or what bus I’ll catch to work, I don’t know if the electricity bill will be comparatively higher and I don’t know if there will be enough storage space in the bathroom for all of my skincare.
But in my eternal quest for self-improvement, learning to embrace change has been my mission of late. And for what it’s worth, I don’t know if it makes me an honourable human being or a rather sad one that I see so much about myself that needs improving. I’ve been trying to expect the unexpected. Except it’s not that easy, is it? At yoga this week I made the mistake of lining up my mat beside a heavy breather. You know the type. And I know what yogi’s say about only focusing on what’s happening within the four corners of your own mat, to let the noise of the outside world drop away, etc. etc., but when you’ve got someone breathing like a Pug with a deviated septum less than a metre away from your downward facing dog at 6 o’clock in the morning, it can be a little hard. So how do you embrace change like that? When the unexpected is uncomfortable? Or confronting? How do you learn to love that?
What I know to be true is that nothing changes if nothing changes. If I had never had the Pug beside me at yoga I wouldn’t have been forced to go deeper within myself, to focus more on my own breath, to work harder to find stillness. Being let go from a job you love might be the change you need to push yourself into finally pursuing the career you’ve always wanted. Changing suburbs might put you on a new bus route with a friend from university you’d fallen out of touch with. Switching gyms might line up your schedule with a guy you’ve always had a soft spot for but never had the chance to talk to. Consistency isn’t always ‘key’ when it comes to life, because if the inconsistent never happened then miracles would never happen, and I see miracles every day. I see friends become mothers who were once told they were infertile, I see friends fall in love with guys they’ve known their whole lives but never thought of romantically, and I watch friends take a leap of faith, quit their dream job in pursuit of a dreamier job and it actually work out despite every fear that it wouldn’t.
It’s a fact: nothing changes if nothing changes. So I’m learning to not only embrace change, but to relish in it.