Change is hard. No one likes it, but it’s a constant as universal as the law of gravity. Some changes are gradual, like the shift of one season to the next, and other changes are more drastic, like the transition to a new job or a new location. I find myself in the latter category. I moved across the country to pursue something that has become a passion of mine — the continual pursuit of mental-health advocacy.

I’ve decide to pursue graduate school, and as exciting as it is, it is also terrifying. I moved to a big city — the first legitimate city I’ve ever lived in — over two thousand miles away from my home. I’ve left friends and the familiar to befriend strangers and the foreign.

My mom told me once, “Always move outside of your comfort zone.” That’s what I am trying to do. When you brake the barriers of the banal and breach the landscape of the new, you find that you are completely vulnerable. And as scary as it is, vulnerability is not such a bad thing.

Vulnerability enlivens you; it heightens your senses. Vulnerability opens you up to new possibilities. It forces you to break the mold in which you have cocooned yourself in order to familiarize yourself with new people and new places. It’s terrifying, but it’s also liberating.

We’re all changing all of the time. Every single second of every single day, we change. Yet it is the big moves that make us especially aware of the change process. It is the intentional displacement that wakes us up from ourselves, from our typical day-to-day existence. Just like a butterfly leaving its temporary residence, the sights are blinding, but the colors are unbelievably vibrant. And they stay that way until it all starts to dim, and you seek another big change in your life.

Ultimately, The goal is not to escape your reality, but rather to embrace the change — and see the beauty in the things that you forgot were beautiful.