We 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.
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.