It was quite the experience, an experience unequalled. The changes came fast and furious. The choice to face the changes were mine. You can easily underestimate how adaptability is the prerogative of the young. I did.
After decades living under a shell, contained in an environment which lulled me into a sense of safety and certainty, I had opted for change. When you throw off the shell you are bare and exposed.
You would think that a healthy amount of travel all over the world and immersing myself in diverse experiences, from a very young age, would have prepared me. After all, the previous twenty years of my troubled life had me doing things that my peers very wisely, postponed to a much later stage in their lives.
I was not prepared. Moving across the world was a shock to the system. Imagine yourself on a roller-coaster with the wind beating at you. Your face whipped by cold gusts as you gasp for air and try to anticipate the next sudden twist, turn or stomach-wrenching plunge. That describes my experience completely and permanently moving to a new country. Going to a new place means re-establishing your reputation. If you start off in a new place, as a cash-strapped single parent, whose child support dried up and you had to support two children, you are at a disadvantage. When you can only succeed with the help of your new spouse and some extremely compassionate relatives from both ends of the world, it is a challenge. If your health had deteriorated as you took on the transition, you get the idea.
Yet, this very exposure is rather like being a newborn babe. You are forced to look at yourself without the layers. You must confront yourself and see what lies within…your values, your goals, your very humanity. What I found was me, without the make-up, the power-suits or the glossy veneer of upper middle-class wealth.
I had rediscovered God and gratitude. There was less fear of not being accepted because I only needed to be accepted by those who really wanted to befriend a person, instead of an image or a facade. That gnawing need to be well-liked at the risk of not being yourself takes a toll on you.
Was I disappointed at times? Yes. Not everyone welcomes you. Not everyone can look past differences. But I was born and had grown up as a minority in another country. I had seen prejudice, racism and dislike before. And I had learnt to be adaptable, to mold myself into the space and be a chameleon at times. This challenge was nothing new.
I also had to retain my core values and not lose my true being. I learnt, that in striking that balance, you are like a magnet. You repel those who are not good for your own growth and attract those who sync with you.
What you need are good, sincere, people to reach out to you and be there in your life. They are really the only ones that matter. You also need to welcome growth, change and an evolution of yourself. That is the self who goes on the soul journey https://sueslife.com/2020/08/01/captain-of-my-soul/. That is the self who recognizes that sometimes change is necessary if you want to achieve the best version of yourself.
Change is the theme of 2020. That is why, in sharing this post, I hope that you can see that with great change, can come a profound renewal. Believe me when I say that we can look forward to our newness and be glad for the product of the turbulent change…that is 2020.