Thursday, December 17, 2015

Making Changes...

Some people live all their lives in the same place and barely leave it for vacation. Some people go to work at the same job and in the same location for decades. Their weeks are all the same and their weekend routines become... well, routine. Some people keep the same friends and associates throughout their entire lives. Many of those people seem comfortable with the continuity they've established. I'm not one of those people.

Perhaps some of those seemingly happy people regret they don't do more to embrace change instead of complacency. Maybe they really want to move in different patterns through a bigger space in the world, but are too afraid of looking for happiness in unknown places. They can't leave their comfort zone even if they're not truly content. They're afraid of embracing a multitude of varying experiences because with the good may come some bad. I'm not one of those people.

Even though I'm a creature of habit in some respects, I get uncomfortable when life's path becomes a well worn circle. I feel like I'm slipping into a hole when a rut is dug under me by the passage of time. I find myself trying to look past the horizon when experiences repeat themselves. Sometimes I do little things like exploring a different part of town or breaking my routine in some other way. Sometimes I do drastic things like changing jobs, moving somewhere else, or even changing the people in my life. Sometimes a change is needed to get to something better even though things appear to be good enough. I embrace change for this reason.

Life is a journey instead of a destination so to truly live is to continue moving through all of the changes as they come. My previous military life and now this foreign service life works well for me because it provides a structured method of change. It has taught me the ups and downs of change while providing the payoff of experiencing completely new parts of life. I don't have to take a big leap of faith to jump to a whole new place in my career since new places are always a part of it. In a way, my career may have made me a little complacent and risk averse in how I viewed change. Change often happens to me instead of being something I do.

Maybe I succumbed to a fear of making disruptive uncomfortable changes. I work with computers and sometimes the thing needs a reboot. Sometimes it even needs a reset back to a known good state where it can start over relatively clean. Sometimes it's better to build something completely new from there instead of thrashing through buggy programs and problem data over and over. Sure, my mind may seem to run well enough with random errors and program crashes but eventually the whole machine wears down and crashes. Isn't it better to reset my system to get out of that routine? Isn't it occasionally better to start fresh and have myself running smoothly? Sometimes I just need a reboot.

Maybe I became a little afraid of taking big risks. Maybe I let the comfortable parts of my life continue through a rut of my own doing in a pattern of my own design. I only have myself to blame since continuing on the same path doesn't improve anything. Sometimes the only answer is to make a big change even if the people around me think my life's good enough and I should remain relatively the same until the end. However, it's not their life so they can't possibly know what's best for me. I'm the only person qualified to decide what's right for me.

So I make a big change. I take a leap of faith into uncharted territories. I remake the structure and path of my life's journey. Why not? Where is it dictated that once I go down certain paths it means I shouldn't deviate from that course? So many people journey through life in so many different ways that all we have to do is see a different path for ourselves and take it. I'm definitely not the first person to do this and make the same big changes in life. After all, it is my life. I want and need to live with a happiness and peace working best for me. "To thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare

If we don't take care of ourselves then we can't effectively operate in the world or take care of anyone else. I'm told to put the oxygen mask on myself before aiding others every time I fly. It makes sense overall. I have to get my own oxygen and make sure I can breathe.

If I feel I must change my life then all I truly owe everyone is the decency to make the change as quickly and cleanly as possible. Isn't it much worse to drag it out and waffle on something that I feel must be done? It may not be easy letting go of the past and moving on to the future but it's necessary when the present no longer feels right. If you're not me then you can't possibly know everything about me to question how I really feel.

Some friends have journeyed with me through my changes but there are already many friends left behind along the way. I'm fortunate to have had so many friends in my life for however long they've been there. My life has been richer for knowing them all but not everyone is meant to continue on my journey forever. People change over time and sometimes all of that change adds up to a time for moving on. Change requires letting go of the past. Change means moving on. It's the natural journey and flow of life.

This blog post is about every change I've ever made even though I'm reflecting on recent events. This is about every time I've moved on from the past to the future. I've enjoyed most of everything I've done so far but sometimes I just have to move on. Moving on isn't a statement about my past. The past was good and hopefully the future will be good in different ways. My journey continues regardless...

The universe isn't a static place. Change is always in the air so it comes down to choosing what we want to do with it. I try to make change work for me instead of resisting it or fighting it. I choose windmills instead of walls...

It's time to ramble on...

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