Navigating The New

Photo By Sébastien Marchand via Unsplash

It takes time, but eventually you begin to feel it. The crossing over. The soil settling around your twitching feet. Six months ago I sold the rest of my stuff, said goodbye to everyone I spoke to regularly, and moved across the country for something new.

Now the change feels official. Not that it wasn’t real before, but after some time it proves to be a real thing — a de-facto way of life. No matter how much you travel on the weekends to avoid it, or the basic furniture you refuse to buy.

Having done this before, I’ve noticed the adjustment process to go something like this:

Phase 1 — Alienation. “Where am I, and where do I go to buy snacks?”

Phase 2 — Amusement. “This bodega is new, therefore novel and fantastic!”

Phase 3 — Adjustment. “You want me to parallel park, uphill, on this curve?”

Phase 4 — Acclimatization. “Holy shit I like it here.”

Phase 5 — State of prehension. “Wait…do I really like it here?”

Little things begin to bother you in new yet familiar ways. Everyday circumstances like getting stuck in traffic, going to the same old bodega, Mondays. Your mind is no longer occupied with the bits and bobs of the aforementioned process.

New people are introduced like characters on a TV series. Some stay, some go. You posit their interests against your new self. While polishing the lens of your new life, you squint and suddenly there are options. Good ones.

You embrace the opportunities to be inspired and let go of everything that sucked.

It’s a time for releasing bad habit and old ways of thought, learning that sometimes it’s better to say no than to move forward with something bad in the first place. You learn to reject toxicity.

You also catch an occasional glimpse of good pieces you didn’t know were there. Space is created for allowing these traits to surface more frequently. Within that space, your mind clears and suddenly you can breathe again.

Change is a test with no correct answers. It’s journey we’re lucky to take. The sun rises on a new coast as you walk among redwoods in new shoes and breathe the cleanest air one could respire. All of it is worth it. These unique experiences both internal and external. All in navigating the new.

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