Saturday, April 24, 2010

A New Leaf

When I was 12, my family's car broke down on our way back from vacation in Florida and all I could do was be excited that the motel in the hick town we ended up in had a pool.

People say I'm adaptable. Rolling with the punches is a quality I tend to take pride in.

So when my plans changed from backpacking Europe to another volunteer stint in Africa, one can imagine I adapted quite quickly.

I found flights and my accommodations within days - hours, really. But was it too quick? Maybe some would say yes, that to change my plans and life so drastically could only be the workings of a woman on the edge. But I'm not.

Others are saying that I'll go to Africa to "find myself again." But the truth is that I haven't been lost in quite some time. Probably not since my first trip to the continent. I always learn new things about myself while I'm out on the project, but in no way do I believe I will have an epiphany and become a new person.

This trip is to take time for myself, to learn and grow and see what I can make of life when I return. It's a chance to show myself that on a whim I can enjoy myself with just... myself.

I refuse to be sad or mad when things change, because from the outset no one can tell if change will be good or bad, so who am I to judge what the future holds?

I used to fear change, until my dad made me read the self-help book "Who Moved My Cheese?" When he forced me to sit and read it at age 13, I didn't understand why accepting change was so important. Now, I understand that if you're not adaptable in the world, you'd better move over because there are some real chameleons out there. There's no use having a freak-out over changes you can't control.

This is becoming so cliche it's hurting my brain. So if you've made it this far you'll know 1) I'm adaptable, so don't pity that my plans have changed because 2) in Africa I am truly myself and 3) I enjoy life anywhere I go, even if it's a hick town with only a pool.


Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.

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