I often find myself telling others how I like to embrace change. How change is exciting. That, as a twenty-something, recent college grad, working in a corporate rotation program, constant change is second nature. I’ve aligned my lifestyle to be of continual movement, with the intention of inspiring growth. I tend to look to the future with optimistic eyes, a romantic allure to all of the unexplored.
Though there’s one side of the change I often choose cloak in public. It’s the people I part ways with. The roads I won’t drive down for a while. The experiences I’ll forgo. There’s this bitter realness to all that I’ll relinquish when I go. In that moment, I feel as if I’m being herded away from my perception of normal. On the other side, I look towards the uncharted through rose colored glasses.
Just earlier this month, I moved to France for the second time in my life. This go around, I’m living in the soul of Paris, the so called young-professional neighborhood of le Marais. Only one mile away in Bastille is my office, where I’ll complete the second rotation of my job for a French-based multinational company.
I look forward to my walk to work − the crisp morning air adding a natural flush to my cheeks as my hair waves in the wind. I navigate my way through a large roundabout with crowded sidewalks full of professionals and students alike. The hum of motorcyclists and car horns as they hurry to their destination add to my morning soundtrack. As I breathe in, there’s the soft scents from boulangeries, all firing their ovens in anticipation for the day’s first batch of delicacies.
Day by day, a little more of me feels at home. It’s the people I meet. The cobblestone streets I walk on. The experiences which catch me by surprise. In that moment, I feel as if I’m finding where I belong in my new perception of normal.
As I reflect on the changes happening around me, I no longer feel the apprehensive pushback I once felt before. Through my innate need to adapt and establish my new normal, I discover happiness in my new environment. While I expressed hesitation for leaving my perception of normal back at home, I’ve realized it’s the diversity in my experiences which enable me to acclimate to any new element around me. The new people I’ll spend time with. The new places I’ll wander to. The risks I’ll take and the new experiences I’ll brave. There’s a delicate kind of comfort that is unique to finding yourself at ease in changing environments.
All the same, when at ease there’s less opportunity to inspire growth. This time as I find my new normal, I’m making it a point to move beyond that comfort and embark on a journey of progress in mind, body, and spirit.
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