There are some people who deal with change easily. Whatever life throws at them, they just deal with it and get on with it and it barely affects their life. These are the type of people who welcome change as it makes life more interesting and intriguing. It makes them feel like they are actually living their life rather than just being alive. I used to be one of those people.
It feels weird to believe this of myself these days. To remember that I used to dive head first into adventure without knowing anything about what might be around the corner. Because it is something that I find almost impossible these days. Changes now feel overwhelming, terrifying, and cause me intense anxiety issues.
After primary school, I went to secondary school on my own and everything was fine. After secondary school, I went to college on my own and it was good. During secondary school when I was just 15, I went to Denmark without an adult and with just three friends. After college, I went on a gap year to Canada with just my brother and five strangers with me. It was the first time I had ever been to Canada. After Canada I went to university on my own and threw myself into new activities I had never done before, such as Waterpolo and Journalism.
I craved change in the past. I hated it when it felt like my life was still and not moving anywhere. I needed to try new things and go different places and live life to the fullest.
I’m not sure when it changed. I wish I knew so that I could go back to that day and shake my past self. But now change terrifies me. Eating in new restaurants fills me with anxious worries, going abroad seems like something I will never be able to do again (unless it is to a country I have been to before and can orient myself into something familiar but new places is a big no-no). Trying a new activity seems daunting and bizarre.
Change is no longer easy and is something that I have to really gear myself up for. This can sometimes take me a long time just to make a decision and even then I might back out before it comes to pass. As happened last year when I kept agreeing to meet new people in new places to try and be social and meet people and always cancelled the day before due to not dealing with the anxious feelings that coursed through my veins.
So, if you follow me on twitter or on my personal blog, you might know that I actually had a very big change happen in my life this week. I started a new job. But not only that. I started a new job in an entirely new city – two hours away from where I actually live.
Now as you can imagine, this has not been easy for me.
It actually took me five days to accept the offer for which I am entirely grateful to the employer for still keeping aside for me while I took the time to decide. I then had four weeks to get used to the idea of everything.
Those four weeks were full of planning and organising. They were also full of anxiety and panic. I had moments when I wanted to go back on my acceptance. Moments where I was sure that I was making a huge mistake and that I would hate both the job and the city and my life would be entirely ruined – naturally.
There was also excitement. Something different was going to happen in my life. Someone had seen me as worth investing in. Someone believed in me.
And I think that is what really helped get my anxious thoughts in order. That and having the most amazing friends and family around to help keep me grounded but to also continually remind me how wonderful this opportunity is and how proud they were of me, and all that wonderful good stuff that filled me with hope and that bit of strength I needed.
This week has been tough. On Monday I ended up having the biggest anxiety attack I’ve had in months. For two hours I struggled with my thoughts and my fears and the panic. I ended up driving to my mums house so that she could calm me down which led to further fears about what I would do when my mum wasn’t 30minutes down the road. But I got through it and I knew that underneath it all, I was just struggling with the change about to occur.
Tuesday was actually okay. This was actually the first day of actual change in my life but I managed to get through it easily enough. Wednesday came with a few blips and my heart raced a few times and I struggled to sleep in the evening. Not to mention I got stressed and a bit snappy as well. Fortunately, those I snapped at where very aware that the next day was the day of the big change so let me get away with it without too many repercussions.
And then yesterday. Yesterday was terrifying. But I planned and I prepared and I did everything I could to make sure I felt as comfortable as I could, including arriving at the job 15 minutes before shift started. And then the new job started and I met what seems like a very friendly and welcoming team who I am more than sure I will really like working with. I was shown the building I’d be working with and fell in love so very completely. I was also shown a few of the things I would be doing on the job and I knew that I could do everything I was asked and that I would most likely enjoy it too.
So now I still feel a little anxious about my next shift which starts tomorrow but I also feel better too. Because I did it. I made a change in my life. This is just the start. I have some more changes to make in the next few months but now I know that I can just get on with it when it happens.
I simply need to feel the fear and do it anyway.