I have always been someone who loves change, or at least the thought of it. Moving to England, moving to Seattle, starting new jobs, instantly fitting into new social circles, decorating new apartments, exploring new cities, all of those tend to sound good to me. Change is thrilling. Change is leaving everything I don’t like about my current life and finding something new. Change is easy and full of adventure. Change means getting rid of responsibilities that continually try to persuade me I am actually an adult now. But the thing that I always tend to forget is that change also means leaving things. Change means leaving people, housemates, friends, communities, churches, familiar neighborhood walks, routine, favorite coffee shops, and the some times familiarity of random people on the streets.
Feeling apart of the community here in Rebaland (many people’s affectionate nickname for the neighborhood around my church) was not something that happened quickly or was easy for me. As I approach the end of graduate school and the beginning of a huge widening of options (stay at my current job, get a new job in the area, move to Seattle, go overseas for a year, move down into the city, stay at my current house, etc), it is always to easy for me to overlook the difficulties of change. It took me over 2 years to begin to feel apart of my community, to get to the point where people I randomly pass on the street are often people I know, to feel comfortable using my leadership skills to plan goofy charade games for church meetings.
In the end change, and all its endless possibilities, will always thrill me, but as I am learning change, once it actually occurs, can also be overwhelming, difficult and painful. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to seek out change, but I think I need to also remember to appreciate more the richness of being here, in one place, with one community and learning to adapt myself to it.