Growing up, I moved around. A lot. Seven elementary schools. Two middle schools. Four high schools. . . My parents believed in the power of going after their dreams, and the kids followed.
We left my birthplace in the United Kingdom and moved to the States in ’96. We landed in Brooklyn, New York, then Jacksonville, Florida. I spent the most significant chunk of my childhood in Stone Mountain, Georgia (a suburb outside Atlanta). Tulsa, Oklahoma, was for my mom’s school, and then back to the A. I graduated from high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. After two years of college in Oklahoma, I planted in Dallas, Texas (with a six-month sprinkle in Denver, Colorado). Change has been my life’s constant.
Change is synonymous with excitement for some and dread for others. Where the ebb and flow of life and relationship is exciting, there’s also the painful shifts of grief and loss. The past two years have revealed just how diverse our reactions are to change. We cannot stop it, but we can develop anchors as we move.
Before the pandemic, my days off looked like streaming a new show, installing Marley twists in my hair, and attempting a new dinner recipe. So when we were given almost six months’ worth of “time off” due to the Coronavirus, I baked more than I ever baked, enhanced my wash-day routine, and watched the entire Star Wars catalog.
But about halfway through quarantine, around May 2020, I was finally weirded out. I lived in a high-rise apartment with my best friend and my sister. (Our fourth roommate had chosen to quarantine with her family.) The skyline was our view, and we could typically see 5 o’clock traffic from where we lived. One afternoon, I noticed the sound of bumper-to-bumper commuters had been replaced by a silence so thick. But something was comforting about the lack of car horns and fog – I could hear birds, see stars.
I’d moved from one place to another throughout my whole childhood, grieving the loss of close friendships and familiar places along the way. During quarantine, I mourned everything I thought I would do in 2020, like traveling internationally and hosting people in my home more. But a change in perspective helped me realize that more happened during this unexpected respite than I could have planned. I had discovered the power of creating root systems. Anchoring myself in rhythms of rest, connection, intentionality, and consistency.
I befriended transition. If I didn’t want to break under the fear, grief, and surprise of change, then I would bend — get a fresh perspective, trust the roots I’d made, and still be planted and standing when the winds of change stopped blowing.
I explored a new walking trail, and it became mine. I was reintroduced to my love for film. I made the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made and swung in a hammock under a tree for the first time in my life. Change was inevitable and out of my control, but my mental state, peace, and atmosphere were all within my jurisdiction.
This coming year, things will change. Guaranteed. While this statement carries the hope of a fresh start, it also triggers the shocking shifts of the past two years. But in 2022, I want to surrender to the rhythms of change.
We were never made to hop on the hamster wheel of life and just go. Instead, we were made to live in intentional rhythm. Nature proves it — the sun’s rising and setting, the ebb and flow of ocean waves, even the shifts in the seasons. In one season, a baby depends entirely on their mother to give them everything they need, and in another the child is expected to fend for themselves.
My anchor in the kaleidoscope of transition is my power to choose. My ability to be rooted in activities that make my heart come alive: the challenge of a new recipe, the satisfaction of healthy hair, the anticipation of a new episode.
Whatever it may bring, may this year be a year you trust your ability to live intentionally — no matter what comes your way.
What steadies you when things start to shift?Leave a Comment