Home » capucinecogne » My Blog » Blog » Life » Change: The easy route is running away

But where will you run to?

We all hate change. We all avoid discomfort. We all wish to feel safe and secure always and at all times.

But that’s not real.

The reality of life, and what makes life wonderful and challenging and oh so beautiful, is that things change, our realities themselves change.

What’s tough is accepting that.

More than that, what’s tough is embracing that.

How do we embrace the change that our gut is telling us to make, when our mind and heart are screaming for comfort and stability?

The change I face

I’m currently facing change.

Actually, I’ve been facing change for over a year now. Not just the type of change when trying a new food, or meeting new people (which I don’t discount at all). But deep, emotional, entire-life-altering change, which is not easy – to say the least.

Every time I feel tired, or sensitive, or uncertain, I crave my previous life. My life in Chengdu, where I had the sturdiest support system I’ve ever had, a stable job, a gorgeous flat of my own, and a consistent routine. Certainly, there were moments of hesitation and frustration, but through my rose-tinted glasses, I remember the comfort of it all. And I miss it.

I’ve essentially been outside my comfort zone for over a year now. At times more so than others, but in essence, that’s been the norm. That discomfort has meant that this year has been one of the years with the most personal growth and development I’ve ever experienced, and the year I’ve discovered myself and lots of places and people in between.

Our human resistance to change was made so elegantly evident when I did not wish to leave the 10-day silent meditation vipassana retreat that I was on. Ten days of silence, and I had adapted, and didn’t want to change the status quo, but stay in it! That felt pretty crazy to me.

A year on in my so-called “discomfort journey”, I wish I could say the discomfort gets easier. That I woke up one morning thinking “I love change.” It didn’t happen that way. We get used to certain types of discomfort. Each time I send a client a price, I get slightly more comfortable doing it; each time I ask for help, I get slightly more comfortable doing it; each time I open up and speak my truth, I get slightly more comfortable doing it.

But it’s a work in progress. I’m still on the path. I don’t believe it ever ends either.

At the moment, I’m once again on the precipice of a (bigger) change. I’m considering moving to Paris to give the relationship I’m currently in a try. If you know me at all, romantic relationships are not my forte. It is the area of my life where I am an absolute “pro” at running away from. The easier route is indeed running away. Not feeling attracted to them, not giving them the power to potentially break your heart, not showing vulnerable sides of you.

It’s easier to stay in the same home all your life, doing the same thing, surrounded by the same people. And that’s running away from change.

Change comes naturally whether you like it or not, and comes more often for those who want more from life and seek change. But running away from change is often the easier option that we humans fall back to.

At this moment, I could run back to the comfort of my home and my cat in Morocco. I could run back to China, and the support system I built there. I could even run back to travelling adventures which I often feel most comfortable in.

However, it is clear to me that the most pertinent right now is to face this change, with all its question marks, challenges, and potential pitfalls, as scary as that may be.

Because what’s the point of living life in fear of change?

Whilst I’m at it, I could live in London, get a corporate job, hang out with the people I grew up with only, discuss topics with people who all have the same opinion, speak the same language and do the same activities I’ve been doing my entire life.

But what kind of life would that be?

Embracing change requires bravery and courage. And if there’s anything I’ve learnt in the last year, it’s that I have both, and that for me those are the traits I value the most in people.

Whether that be:

  • The bravery to tell someone “I love you”
  • The bravery to choose one’s own path
  • The bravery to change homes and communities
  • The bravery to become friends with a stranger
  • The bravery to try something new
  • The bravery to be terrible at that something new and keep at it
  • The bravery to invest in a relationship, despite all the conventional “on paper” compatibility criteria being wrong
  • The bravery in trusting your gut, when all around you is telling you the opposite
  • The bravery in being different
  • And the bravery in showing that difference

When I came out of that 10-day vipassana retreat during which I hadn’t spoken a word, I also saw our adaptability to change and our courage: for putting ourselves in a position of discomfort, and for embracing it for all it is.

And what I’ve learnt and firmly believe, is that change is the first step on the way to something better.