Adaptation (приспособление)

img_2387We are told at various points in our life that the only constant is change. This statement should be followed with the idea that key to surviving change is how well you adapt. My friends, this is the other constant in our lives. Just like change…you can’t avoid it.  

When most people experience changes in their lives, the most immediate reaction is to express joy or frustration. I have a question for you: Do we really give ourselves the space to be with ourselves, and adapt to the changes in our lives.  Or, do you dive in head first? I have tended to dive in.

This year, I’m challenging myself to take a step back and make time to be with myself. As I have grown as a person, I haven’t really taken the time to give myself space to adapt to two years of several, albeit good, major life changes. I have tended to dive in, as a coping mechanism. For this latest major life change, friends kept telling me to enjoy this time and take it slow. That is important for me to take time and enjoy the view and growth in my life.  

Two days before I left for Russia, I had dinner with a friend that I have much adoration for. As I was telling her about my new life as a business entrepreneur and the moments of fear that have come with it. She said with such love that I needed to “get comfortable with the company of yourself.” That reminder made my world stop and the tears roll down my face. She shared her own journey of adaptation as she had to get comfortable with herself after a divorce and became a single mother. How she woke up every morning with a prayer to God that she would have faith even in her darkest times. Her period of adaptation became walks in various parks with her newborn baby, reading everything, unplugging from outside noise, being the first one in the carpool lane…silence, adaptation, comfort, freedom.  

I left for Moscow to explore the city. I welcomed the trip as time to give me the space to adapt to my new position as a co-founding business partner for a women’s mental health company. Luckily, I had my kindred spirit with me. It’s funny how things happen in Divine time. 

lauresa-and-i

The first thing you notice about Moscow is that it’s cold. Your body quickly adapts when you experience a 40 degree temperature change in 9 hours. We walked out of the airport and it was 1 Celsius.  My memory from basic elementary school, that’s around 33 degrees. As we walked through the airport, your brain instantaneously shuts off the outside noise because you don’t see or hear anyone speaking your language. Smiles and hand gestures become your voice. Although, trap music can be heard playing through headphones. That’s another blog entry.You don’t hear words or read text that makes any sense to you. You are essentially flying without wings, but you adapt. 

To nourish our body and soul, when we approached the restaurant maître d, we were often handed an English menu and pointed at the selection. They adapted to us, we adapted to them…we all found comfort. I suppose because  it was a simple transaction.  We wanted food, they could make that happen.  

We adapted to the stares from people as we walked down the street and into restaurants. We found a strange comfort in the teenage girls that nervously giggled asking to take a picture with us in Russian. The secret was out, that they were adapting to seeing black people come alive from their TV screens to being a real person. As our tour guide explained, hoping that we weren’t offended, the Black population in Russia is around 1%.  The stares gave comfort of our place in the world, even when that place can make others a little uncomfortable. We were strangers, but adapted to being a rarity in their everyday lives.  We welcomed to see the world through different lens. 

My last morning in Moscow, I awakened early to have a talk with God. During the drive to the airport in the stillness of the early Moscow morning, I stared out the car window to enjoy the quiet and give thanks for this time that God gave me on my trip. There are a lot of quieter moments ahead because I am getting even more comfortable with myself. 

I am adapting.  Well, continuing to adapt.

7 thoughts on “Adaptation (приспособление)

    1. When we purchased the trip, it was because it was a good deal on Gate1 travel. We paid $569, I can blow that in a month with nothing tangible to show for it. Reflecting on it now, it’s sooooo incredibly important that we get out and see the world. As I mentioned in the post about the teenage girls, most of the narrative painted about persons of color is from television and the news. We are more than entertainers.

      It gave me an appreciation for the way other people live. It was another opportunity to show that as humans, we all strive for the same things. Love, acceptance, and belonging… This trip changed me for the better.

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  1. I always love your blog posts, Lauren. It sounds like it was so amazing. I’m so excited to see you doing so many great things! 😀

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  2. I’m glad you traveled there. I’m sure you dispelled at least one of the Russian’s myths regarding women of color. Welcome back! Can’t wait to hear the details….

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  3. Great post! It’s during those times when you are forced to adapt to change that you are able to reveal things about yourself that you never knew existed. Continue to adapt and watch new doors open.

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  4. Hello Daughter
    So proud of you living your life and adapting to this new place you landed in your life journey. Happy your traveling and seeing the world.

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  5. What an amazing adventure. You bravely left your comfort zone and articulated so brilliantly how you were not only able to adapt, but how you were able to explore your own identity in the process. Thank you so much for sharing this, Lauren! Truly a lovely read.

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