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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reinvention

I've moved quite a bit in my life.  And my favorite part has always been the chance for a clean, fresh start.

You get a chance at reinvention, to try and fix things about yourself, your life, your surroundings that you might otherwise overlook if you stayed in the same place.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be the outwardly extroverted person that I am today if we hadn't moved so much while I was in high school.  I'm a true introvert at heart, but when you start three new schools in three new states, in three years, it's either adapt or evaporate into oblivion.

Those moves pushed me to change myself, to talk to strangers, insert myself into already formed groups, and to try new sports, clubs and activities.  And it was the best thing for me.  I'm really not sure how my life could have continued in the course it has, if it hadn't been for those changes.  I'm now an introvert with a secret power.  I can turn on extroverted personality traits when I need them.  It's exhausting and sometimes very difficult, but it's also helped me make friends, and land on my feet in new situations.

What's really interesting is when big change happens in your life right before a move.  Then, not only are you starting fresh, but it's almost like the people in your new life are seeing a brand new you that didn't exist before.  Like your life is a piece of tapestry that has been filled with blue thread up to this point, but now the threads are changing to yellow.  The people in your old life still see blue, the new people only see yellow, and you're left seeing both.  You know that your world is really turning green, even if others only see one of the colors that got you to this point.

It happened to me when I moved to Cairo, because I got married 16 days before we left.  My life in the states was completely different.  I was a single, hard working teacher.  My life was completely my own. In Cairo, all the people I meet and become friends with only know me as the Devin who is part of a couple.  I'm a married woman, part of a whole new category in life. And when we go to Moscow it will be different yet again.  Everyone we meet will only know me as the Devin who is part of a couple, with a child.  I will be a mother, and yet another new category.

And it's really interesting because each of these new threads has added to the color and story of my life. They've made me a richer, fuller, more interesting person.  But they've also segmented my life .

I'm the only person who's really seen each part, each thread, each change.  I'm the only one who knows the whole story.  Even my closest relatives and friends from my childhood have missed the depths of my recent transitions, because each new color has moved me farther from them. I'm the author, editor and audience to my story.  And I kind of like that.

Change is good, it's invigorating and scary and stressful and cathartic. It smooths away your rough edges as you find a way to fit your puzzle piece into different slots. And it's the only way to add color to your life. So even though I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to grow up and live in the same place. To see familiar faces everywhere you go.  To never lose your way, or get stuck with a problem and no one to help. I know that my life's tapestry suits me. No matter how beautiful and perfect that life could have been,  I would have been bored with just blue.

I'm really excited to see the new color Moscow will bring. From what little I've learned so far, I'm betting on red.  

2 comments:

  1. It's true. Moving does force you into extroversion. Moscow!! How cool. When do you move? Are you going to change your blog name?

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  2. Thanks Johanna, we move in August. I do think I'm going to change the name of my blog... I even did a post awhile ago asking for suggestions. I haven't decided yet, but there will definitely be a change!

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