As a Taurus, I’m told I don’t like change. Yet, my life-line so far has been a series of interruptions and situations that have forced me to adapt. After college the longest I’ve ever lived in the same town was for about three years, and that’s not counting the times I moved within the town.
Now, I won’t go so far as to say I love it. I certainly don’t enjoy the inconvenience of moving often. But Life has a way of tossing monkey wrenches and kitchen sinks our way, and well, we do the best we can, don’t we?
Upon further reflection, I had four childhood homes when we lived in Hawaii. Although, this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy stability, or long periods of stability, I did. It’s just I went to three different high schools when I was in the 9th grade. I’ve been a minority as well as part of the majority (which if you think about it requires you to figure stuff out). I could go on, but I think you get the point; all of this happened during those formative “growing up” years.
So sometimes I wonder how much our foundation years influence our adult years. In other words, was I meant for a nomadic life? Am I okay with change because it’s what I know?
An astrologer once told told me that I would be doomed to go from relationship to relationship, and that I’d never get married, or find a life-long partner. Can you imagine being told that? Her words haunted me until I realized I accidentally gave her the wrong time of birth. Perhaps now after confirming things with my actual birth certificate and not my mother’s memory, I’ve changed my luck.
Of course, that opens up Pandora’s cookie tin of Philosophy and Religion: Do we have free will? Are we the captain of our Fates? Frankly I’d rather not get into that tangled-ball-of-thread topic here, but I do believe we are in charge of our destinies. Maybe the romantic in me believes in a little of both.
Or maybe I’m simply the product of my generation. Cohorts bound together with the twine of time, trapped between the bewildering and dazzling array of choices that no generation before us had ever experienced. But choice is a blessing, not a curse, you say, and that’s why we choose the same jam or salad dressing when we run out, right?
I wonder though what it must be like to grow up and die in the same ‘ol town. There’s a comfortable quality to that idea that borders on extreme monotony as well. I can’t imagine, but that’s what past lives are for – to take another road, to have made another choice. Perhaps this is what makes change possible, big heaving gulps of it, fear of boredom. Or fear of sticking around long enough to learn how to manage it.
Yet, it sometimes feels like we are given no choice at all, and by that I mean the choice is made for us. The situation is untenable, unbendable. We stay in the broken relationship, or we leave when the fear of drowning in dysfunction and losing ourselves finally outweighs any fearful imaginary monsters we’re clinging to.
Change can also be a disruptive force that creates chaos. Some folks are attracted to that even though we human beings don’t do to well under trying circumstances. But allow me to state my case; I don’t like drama. I’ve had my fill of it growing up, and I don’t relish it. I don’t like conflict. I’m often rather agreeable for the sake of keeping the peace. But don’t mistake this for not standing up for myself, or overthinking what I shoulda-coulda said or done.
Adventure is closely related to change, or can be the result of it. Perhaps here we have finally stumbled upon a grain of understanding. If given the choice between a road taken, and one that I have not, I will choose a new path. This is how I’ve ended up in perceived boring places like Nebraska and Iowa. “Oh, I’ve never been there. Let’s go.” But this doesn’t always work out. Choosing new does not equal better.
Then there’s the mental transition (before the change) and the adjustment period (after the change) to navigate through and manage. Usually the actual event is nothing in comparison because you’re in the act of doing it.
When we move to Rayong in December, we’ll be ready. I didn’t expect this change especially since we recently moved back to Chiang Rai, Thailand earlier this year. In fact, I originally thought we’d settle down in CR for a spell, but there’s something about returning to the place you left. Sometimes it feels like a homecoming, while other times, it doesn’t quite work anymore. We’re in the latter camp. I fear Cambodia has changed me too much, and living in CR has turned out to be temporary landing pad where we readjusted our compass, and refueled.
It looks like we’re moving from the north to the south, but technically we’re moving to Central Thailand. Although when I told my mom she kept referring to Rayong as “the south”, and after I kept correcting her, she finally explained that to Northerners anything south of their town is south. Directions are not Thais strong point.
I’m so excited. Soon we’ll visit Rayong, and get a sense of what we’ve gotten ourselves into. And then I’ll be in the throes of planning, second-guessing, and all those other activities that we go through when we make a big move. I should be an expert by now, but I don’t feel that way, but maybe after this move I will!
What’s your relationships with change? Has your life been relatively smooth sailing?