I Changed My Mind About Change

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of change and my relationship with it. I’ve always struggled with transitions in my life and would typically meet change with a show of struggle and immense emotion. Not long ago I was swimming in the ocean against a strong current. I sunk my feet into the sand and with my hand submerged, I pushed back against the waters movement to feel its full force. My feet eventually became unstuck and I was tossed helplessly to whichever direction the water chose to move. I tried again and again, with the same thing happening every time. I thought about what I was doing and it dawned upon me that this exact motion is what I have had a tendency to do in my everyday life. Over the years I wired myself to push back against change with fear and resistance, to meet difference with apprehension and to sink my feet into the sand when I thought my life was moving towards a place I didn’t expect it to be going. Inevitably the current of life would always win and I would unwillingly surrender, feeling powerless and disoriented.

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However, earlier this year I returned home from a long stint of travel that completely shifted my perspective of both myself and how I perceive the world around me. When I first came back, I found myself back at the same place of work and thought that it was where I needed to be for the time being. Although there were a million different signs telling me to move on, at first I didn’t trust my instincts and continued on in a purgatory state of uncertainty. However, once I went with my gut and allowed the forces of change to flow, I felt like I was floating. I left that job and went on to try my hand at a couple other jobs, with each one providing a lesson on the way and guiding me towards where I am now. I stopped forcing the search and let things happen organically until I found the right place for me at this point in my life.

When asked by a friend how it felt moving on, I told him it felt like I was watching a bootleg DVD. As I was watching, something didn’t seem right although I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. The more I watched, the stronger I felt something was off until I finally realised that the words spoken were out of sync with the moving picture. From that moment onwards, all I could focus on is how out of sync everything was and it stopped me from enjoying the movie. Once I gave my instincts unconditional trust and allowed myself to transition onto new endeavours, I felt like I swapped the bootleg DVD for the cinema experience. Surround sound, perfect synchronisation and popcorn of course.

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In the past there was a whisper of fear that tried to slither its way into my mind, telling me that everything I was working towards would topple with the slightest breeze and I will be back to square one. Not too long ago, that whisper would have been given a megaphone, drowning out all other noise until I eventually believed it to be true. Now, as I march forward in this new chapter in my life, a breeze of peace and the whistles of acceptance can be heard singing their song louder than those whispers of fear. I’ve come to see the beauty in accepting that sometimes we aren’t in control and that there is so much power in the unknown. I find myself riding the currents and trusting that they will guide me to wherever I need to go. Trust. Trust is such a fundamental element to healthy transition and the burden of that trust lies within ourselves as once we trust ourselves and our instincts, we can trust the motions that life presents.

With a newly found work-life balance, exciting projects being undertaken and a greater understanding of the things I need to do in order to be my happiest, I’ve had a lot of transitioning happening lately and plenty of changes to process. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am able to welcome change like an old friend.

So the days roll on by and sometimes manifest in ways that I didn’t expect they would. At this very moment, things are happening in my life I inherently want to push back against but the lessons along the way remind me to put trust in myself and have faith in the many currents of the universe – change is growth and grow we must. 

Written by Joe Khan

Edited by Samantha Callender

Leanne Westlake