When I was 15 my parents moved me across the country to go to college.
It was, and still is, an option for students in then Soviet and now Sovereign Russia to go to college to complete High School education with an emphasis on the future profession. High school didn't sound appealing to anyone in my family, including myself, so couple of weeks after turning 16, just like my sister a few years prior, I began my nursing education at the Nursing School 2,000 miles away from home.
If you want to know your capacity to tolerate change, move across the country and begin anew.
It didn't seem scary in the beginning, as I was always a big fan of adventure, but within 3 months, once I got my daily routines down, the reality set in - this change will require more than renting a room or figuring out the local subway system. This change will require a change within me.
Change is something most of us resist instinctively.
We're creatures of habit and predictability makes us feel in control, even if only in our imagination. When things shift, as they do on almost a daily basis, a natural search for equilibrium kicks in and we attempt to restore the familiar balance. When restoring the familiar is impossible, we negotiate and attempt to go back to the comfortable at least to some degree.
However, sometimes things change so drastically that we're finding our carefully curated Self with habits, patterns and expectations no longer fits in a new environment. Enters the moment of truth - we can continue to fight the change, attempting to restore our previous Self in a new world, holding on to the familiar tighter and tighter; or we can chose to revisit what we think we know about ourselves and stretch in the new and unfamiliar, often uncomfortable ways, in order to find new resources, possibilities and skills needed in new situation.
I was young and curious and full of zest for life, so I stretched and opened up and explored. And that's when change becomes a transition.
Transition is a process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
Discovering new can be exciting and exhilarating, it can also be exhausting and draining.
In that first year, I laughed and cried more than I remember laughing and crying in my entire life. I also grew, developed a sense of confidence, discovered my ability to always find a way in any location and a lack of fear of unfamiliar situations.
I learned that I'm more interested in talking to adults than my peers and that adults appreciated my company as well. I discovered all the skills my parents taught me that I never got to appreciate while living with them, and which I relied on heavily while living on my own. I was faced with my own sensitivity and ability to feel things deeply, and had to learn to self-soothe. I celebrated my skills to connect easily with almost anyone and had to curb my small-city-girl trust into people, now that I was in a second biggest city in the country.
This first internal and external transition set me up to face many many more in life successfully and joyfully. Today, I can honestly say I love and believe in change.
It is the only constant.