I’m exhausted. Irritable. My butt hurts from sitting on a plane too long. I’m on the very front edge of an “adventure of a lifetime” and yet I am fully aware that I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m excited but confused and I mostly just want to go to bed.
A year ago, there was no possible way I could have predicted this for myself. I was content and happy in a comfort zone of a domestic life including an apartment with a beautiful view, a girlfriend who I loved more than anything (who I was sure I’d be with forever), and a cat. But things change quickly. The best laid plans and all that…
So coming to terms with getting dumped and kicked out of our killer apartment and not even getting to see the stupid cat anymore has required some adjustment. Humans don’t deal well with change. We like to think we can figure life out and understand it and be able to predict what will happen. Because if we can’t predict it, it’s chaos, right? There’s a kind of mental and emotional inertia that makes us resistant to change.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize that change is a universal truth. It’s everpresent and permeates every action. In fact, it’s just about the only constant that we can rely on. Things are going to change whether we’re ready for them or not.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “You could not step in the same river twice.” The water is always in a state of flow. Even if you stepped into the river from the exact same spot, the water you touched before would be long since carried away. There are many similar teachings in Buddhism. Impermanence is a powerful concept. Accepting it gives you power over it. Resistance is futile.
I think that’s why I’m out here. I’m embracing change. I’m raging against the comfort zones that trapped me before. I won’t let myself stop learning and growing and changing and hopefully improving. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t want to go into this expecting to have changes in my personality, but I’m open to it. It feels like the first day of an improv class, where you have a general idea that it’ll be fun but there’s really no way to be prepared.
And yet ultimately there’s not really another option. Sometimes you can’t go home. Maybe that means home isn’t where you need to be.