Expat

Starting over, after the transition…

I know why people are afraid of change. It takes them out of their grassy zone of comfort. Hey, it’s comfortable in comfort land, eating at the ground, chewing the cud!

Friends and kind folks who write to me about my blog (aka my life) think I’m real good at moving frequently, taking risks, but the truth is, I’m a scaredy cat along the way. That is to say, I’m often plagued by self-doubt, worry and stress. It’s not an “OH YEAH!” process for me. It begins as a contemplative moment as I review or look back at where I have been and the direction I’m going.

a-flick-of-the-tail
The good life (Chiang Mai, Thailand near Payap University, 2009).

The idea of settling is unsettling for me. I’d rather climb up a mountain than brace myself for downhill. And I don’t do well wondering what might have been, when I could have been doing what I wanted to do. I know this always can’t be the case, but now I know why I don’t mind pursuing the opposite sex, I want to know. I like to try. I don’t mind failing. I fail often.

climbing-mt-babcock-001
What do you mean I could have turned back!!?? (Mt. Babcock, Durango, Colorado circa 1996)

At the same time, I’m tiptoeing in a new direction, I’m not thinking at all. I know this is a vast contradiction, but I seesaw between thinking too much and going blank. When I do worry, it’s about the things I have to do. Logistics. Technical stuff. I review the steps, up and down, again and again, and when I have to depend on others, well, I double check.

When I’m venturing into new territory, I don’t over-research. It kills some of the magic, the mystery and the exploration.  Before the Internet became such a sticky web, we didn’t really have a choice, and I think this habit has just stuck with me. I also don’t like to guess what will happen next, things hardly ever work out the way you predict. Now, I’ll entertain an idea or two, I’ll make some educated guesses, but because I exhaust myself worrying about the details, I don’t have any leftover energy to speculate other things.

I’m not a “expect the worst and hope for the best” kind of gal. I’m much more a “wait and see” Chiquita banana.

Regardless, I’m feeling pretty good about following my thinking-over-contemplative moments. When certain aspects of life turn bad corners, I immediately start thinking of alternatives. I’m a problem solver and sometimes when friends are hashing out their feelings, I start problem solving when they need a sympathetic listener. So I’ve learned to ask, do you want me to just listen or help you think of new ideas?

Although the big adjustment now with moving from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, is finding some sort of schedule or routine again. Starting work should help, it should provide a bit of an anchor, but I hope I start to find my balance again because starting over is pretty exhausting!

training-lamphun
Okay, maybe not as physically exhausting as training Muay Thai (Lamphun, Thailand 2007).
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9 thoughts on “Starting over, after the transition…

  1. Lani, this is too good. Am sending it to Sybil who is starting her 6 mo residency in Canada. I am going to forward her email to me to you as it is about the same subject. Any way, thanks for the sharing of this
    because I just returned from my favorite island. It’s always an adjustment coming back to the city. And I am moving too (A little one but it feels big to me.) to a guest house so I can travel more. I also am feeling a shift in the ground under me and am following it’s mysterious lead.

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    1. Yes, please do. I’m very curious about Sybil’s residency. Sounds great. And I would imagine you are feeling the shift, I remember now that you are moving outside of the city. Making a move so you can travel more sounds like a brave thing to do, and I hope it turns out exceptionally well. Good luck and keep in touch 🙂

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  2. Awesome reflections, Lani, I relate with what you’re saying here. I also hate over-researching, TOTALLY kills the magic. What’s your new job like – similar to what you had or another thing that’s completely new to you?
    ~Andrea<3

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    1. Thank you. The new job is very similar to what I did before in CM. Basically, it’s the same school, different location. Of course, there are variations…all to discover in due time 😉

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  3. Wow…how normal can you be Lani? I really love the part about not over-researching and being surprised. Good luck “settling” in Chiang Rai.

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  4. Glad the move was a success (you’re alive and writing = success)! I can’t wait to see more of what happens from here on out!

    And you know, it seems like most people are really scared of new things, even when they take it so calmly. I think the defining factor isn’t whether you’re scared or not, but whether you’ll do it anyway. That’s what makes life interesting.

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    1. Agreed! So many of us feel bored, safe and stuck, and while those things are OK, I find it much more adventurous to try something new – even if it “fails”. I think life is made richer by these kinds of experiences. Thanks Otter!

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