On Being New Here

Being new to something is always thought of as an immediately transformative experience. In a beautiful new land where everything seems familiar yet so strange, I would love to believe I have arrived in an all accepting fairytale land with infinite possibility. I would love to believe that I can finally leave behind all the clutter I collected in the past two decades of my existence – I can finally experience the present moment for what it really is without being weighed down by fear of physical discomfort or even danger. I would love to believe that in this new land, I am a better person with a cleansed and refreshed mind, as if just getting off the plane and breathing this new air is enough to purify me. I would love to believe that here I am a stronger, better expression of myself.

Yes. I have watched too many movies of the wrong kind, apparently. I have also obviously rejected sage advice from well-meaning friends and opted instead for my idealistic view of change. Because it turns out that change is chaotic. And messy. And long-winded. I don’t blame evolution for wiring our minds and bodies to resist change – it is hard. Yet, it seems worth it. Because despite the crazy entropy, there is the beauty of a clear and refreshed life to look forward to.

The people I have so far met here who appear to be the strongest and best adapted are those who accept and even love their imperfections. They are the people who are not afraid to be vulnerable. This reminds me of a beautiful talk I watched recently on the power of vulnerability:

Being vulnerable is certainly painful – it exposes every inch of our beliefs and lays them bare for all to see, including ourselves (perhaps the most excruciating part). And evidently vulnerability is at the core of successfully adapting to change. I realize however that there is a latent reason for change being hard – it filters out the people who don’t want it badly enough and leaves the real fighters stronger, even if wounded temporarily.

With the beginning of 2012 right around the corner, here’s to us finding the strength within to be deeply vulnerable and to flow with change. I know I will need it. I’d love to hear what you have to say about change and vulnerability to it.

Thank you for listening!