We are always changing, and things all around us are always changing. But that change feels gradual, slow, and we practically don’t notice it as we go about our routined lives, taking the same train to work, walking the same path, or shopping at the same place. It’s only when we step away for a while and come back does it hit us how much things have changed, and most especially how much we have changed.
I met my friend Grant today who has been away from Melbourne these past few months, travelling for a month and then working a contract job interstate. He’s been back in Melbourne and things feel the same, but he’s changed. He doesn’t feel as happy and excited about being back home as he did before. He took it as a sign and accepted another interstate contract and leaves again next week. I have been in his shoes. I’ve turned up back in my old stomping grounds and realized it’s a dead end, I’m not really meant to be here at the moment, it’s time to go again.
I felt similar to him today, so I could really relate to what he was saying. I pushed myself out the door to go dancing today, the first time I’ve been to a Sunday morning dance in 8 months. I used to love dancing and went every week. It’s been awhile since I last danced and everything seemed the same as before. The place was the same, filled with the same mix of familiar and new faces. Some of my dancing friends were there as usual. The music followed the same rhythm, and everyone went for a social lunch at the organic vegetarian place nearby afterwards. But all I wanted was to turn around and leave, just like my friend Grant, and I did. I didn’t feel it was where I should be at the moment. The music felt loud, the room felt crowded, and I just wanted to go home. I believe after taking some time to reflect, I needed to go dancing again today to really understand how much I have changed.
I used to be such a social person, I’d spend all but maybe one weekday evening out dancing, meeting friends for dinner, attending workshops etc. I’d be so exhausted by the weekend I’d take one day of quiet to recover before going through the whole process again. I enjoyed my social life so much, and my years in Asia were some of the best years of my life.
When I moved to Australia my life started to slow down. I met Sam, a creative man who loves spending so much time at home writing movie scripts and music. I started gardening for the first time since childhood, and I started writing again too. The more I spend time at home doing those things, the more I love doing it. The more friends invite me out for dinner or a gathering, the more I struggle. I have a few friends in relationships who love being home as much as I do, and we meet spontaneously once in a blue moon for a yummy Asian meal, which is lovely, and I don’t expect that to change in the near future. I love meeting family for the occasional dinner or Yum Cha lunch at one of our local Chinese haunts. I love my Skype, What’s App & MSN chats with my two best friends in Hong Kong when we happen to both be online at the same time. But on the whole, today I realized I just don’t want to be social like I was before. I love my quiet life. I love how most nights I have the option to do something creative, whether it be cook a nice meal, draw, write, or just lie in bed and read, meditate and explore my inner world. I love how when Sam and I do want to get out of the house, we go to the hills, to a little trail where people rarely frequent and sit in the peacefulness of the forest.
I suppose I’m becoming a bit of a hermit, but the thought of a quiet night at home alone or with Sam makes me feel happier than anything else. I’ve always been one for accepting changes, and accepting people coming and going in my life. But I feel I’ve let some of my more social friends down by turning down their invites, and for the most part making myself unavailable. I haven’t always fit into their definition of a true friend, but then everyone has a different belief about what a true friend is anyway. I can’t please everyone, I can only do what I feel is best for me in the moment and honour how I feel.
I’ve changed. I’ve taken steps towards my dreams. I’m becoming a writer, and in the near future I wish to devote my evenings and weekends to writing a novel. I’m in a new phase of my life where I’m needing calmness and quiet, peacefulness and creativity, rest and space. I’m really looking forward to enjoying this even more in my new home with a big garden filled with trees. It’s a home for those who love to be home, it’s a home for people like me.
Have you ever changed and become a different person? Was it a challenging or easy transition?
Did any of the people around you struggle with the changes?