Discover more from liminal space
the lesson keeps coming until you learn it
If you enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to a friend!!! Growing a newsletter is slow and arduous and your sharing it helps me more than you will ever know.
I’m learning how to run toward change.
While I’m quick to say that I’m someone who thrives in transition, the reality is that I like when things change how and when I want them to. When something starts to move before I’m ready, I dig my feet in. I wax poetic about how things are. I pretend they could stay like this forever.
That is, of course, not how things work.
Maybe perfection itself is a sign it’s time to change. Nature reminds us of this everyday. Today I went on a walk down the path near the canal. It’s gorgeously green with spring growth. It also smells like dirt. You know the smell—rich and earthy and a bit sour, because well, things have to degrade to make new growth possible.
Perhaps my problems with change all come back to the moments when I try to hold onto something longer than it was meant to last. Even if on the surface, it appears to be perfect.
The tulips on our dining room table are a prime example. I bought them when they were tightly closed. Over the past two weeks, they’ve opened gorgeously. I want them to freeze in this moment, but I know that next week, the petals will start to fall. The week after, they’ll be bare and soon after, they’ll be rotting. Even when something looks perfect, it’s changing. Everything is always in motion.
What’s ironic is that sometimes the change is actually just the same lesson over and over again. I dated the same type of person countless times until I learned my self-worth and met G. I had the same problem with friends until I understood how to set better boundaries. The lesson kept coming back and I fought against it every time.
It reminds me of when G tried to teach me how to surf in Biarritz last summer. The surfboard tied to my ankle drove me crazy and I was thrashing and whining every time I fell, choking and chortling sea water. He told me to dive under and stop panicking; I didn’t listen.
Finally, I got sick of it. The next time I fell, I dunked myself deep beneath the wave, letting it move over me. I came up victorious. No more mouthful of saltwater. Once I stopped fighting and learned the lesson, it got enjoyable.
When I thought about moving to Scotland, I thought about surfing. This move could be hell; I could complain to G everyday. Or I could surrender, looking for the lesson here. What is it trying to teach me?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of writing a book. Growing up, I said my career goal was to become a book editor. Being an author seemed too bold to say out loud. Could I even write? Would anyone even read it?
I made convenient excuses for my fear. I didn’t take any writing classes in college—I was afraid getting a bad grade would kill my dream once and for all. In New York, I said it was too loud to write and I was working on Wall Street; I could hardly hear myself think. I was supposed to write in Spain and instead, I fell in love and went surfing (not a bad alternative). Now, I’m in Scotland, in one of the most literary places in the world. I have nothing but time and attention to do the one thing I think I was put on earth to do.
Perhaps, the lesson here is that you cannot run away from what is meant for you.
Change is relentless. You can resist it and fight against it, or you can dive into it. I’m trying to do the latter. I open up the Google doc and stare at it, begging for a distraction so I don’t have to actually write.
But I’m not too obtuse to realize when the time has come for something. I need to write this thing. Now.
I feel like it’s race day. The weather is perfect, not too hot with a gentle breeze. I’m perfectly hydrated, not too much to need a bathroom, and I’m full without being hungry. The crowd is clearing and it’s a straight shot to where I want to go. I’m at the start line and now all I have to do is put one foot after another.
Words on paper. Stop resisting.
The thing with change is that I can’t stop the universe from teaching the lesson it wants me to learn. I can either go willingly, energetically, eagerly—looking to make meaning—or I can fight it—and find the lesson some ten years from now.
There will be part of me that always wants to resist change. But nature reminds me that no matter how much I try to cling to the shore, the tide will eventually rip me away. I might as well turn so the waves will push me forward. If I’m so bold, I can throw myself into it and use the momentum to go faster to the place I was always meant to go.
Because if it wasn’t this wave, it would be the next one, or the one after. The lesson comes even if I resist it. I might as well run towards it.
liminal space is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.