Alive is a beautiful thing to be.
As long as we are alive, we are changing—to put it plainly, that’s just the way it is. That’s life and the process through which we experience it.
We change. Always.
We undergo constant transformation with or without our conscious effort to do so, often realizing only after some time has passed that we are different. Events resolve in ways we never could have conceived, new situations take shape before we even understand the old ones, blessings play games of hide-and-seek with our hearts and things become what we never thought they could be.
And this is only the outline of our stories.
I know this because of where I’ve been, where I am and where I hope to be. I once stood shaking in my insecurities and doubts, mindlessly floating through my narrow view as I tormented whatever lived inside me. The first significant change on which I ever meditated was the one that took me from there to a place where healing was possible—and eventually that place became where I stand now, with stronger roots, loftier wings, a bigger smile and a brighter heart.
I changed, and that required blindly submerging myself into whatever might come next. For a while, I tiptoed into the unknown with fears so great they could have swallowed me whole (and some of them did).
But then I realized—the unknown will happen whether or not I fear it. Soon enough, the unknown will become known, and there will be plenty of other unknowns beyond that.
I connected the dots: change is constant. Change brings us to the edge of what we know, waiting for us to plunge into what we have yet to discover. So, if life is change, and changing means diving into the unknown, then being afraid of the unknown means living in perpetual fear.
It was then that I decided living in fear wasn’t really living at all.
So here I am a few years wiser, entering a new phase of transitions. I was once elsewhere, as we all were at some point, and I traveled many changes to be here, where I am now. But things are still changing, as they always will.
I’ve been where I’ve been and I am where I am; what’s changing now is where I hope to be.
Navigating the foggy paths of transition is a daunting task, and it never seems possible when we’re standing in a place of familiarity. There is some light there; we feel safe because we see what we know, even if these objects of comfort are undeniably bad for us. All the while, we curiously inspect the unknown from a safe distance—that is, until we have no other choice but to follow our gaze.
This place—the softening edge where the light meets the dark, where what is known slips from my shoulders, trickles down the backs of my arms and drips poignantly off my fingertips; the last moment before a free-fall, where my breath becomes sharp and caged, longing for the opulence of an exhale—this is where I am as I question where I want to go.
This is where I’ve decided that where I hope to be is not limited by where I planned on going—not anymore.
And this is where I have gleaned the most crucial information in my life so far: I have learned about myself—what I need, what I can’t endure, what sustains me and what breaks me.
In the blindness of my transition, I am finding clarity. As I continue into the unknown, my inner knowing becomes more and more apparent.
Sometimes, finding clarity in our transitions means bringing another change into our awareness. Getting to know myself lately has meant discovering things that I never would have suspected; the future of what I thought would always be has become subject to a changing me.
But that’s the nature of change: We know it will happen, but we don’t know how it will shape us until after the fact. And by not knowing what will be, we come to know who we are along the way.
That’s the clarity in every transition—and yes, it’s always there. Knowing that this clarity will come is the impetus for taking the courageous plunge into the unknown. It prods us onto that foggy path as change draws us nearer and we distance ourselves from the distortion of previous comforts.
I am changing—we all are, because we are alive. We find our clarity in the darkest hollows of our transitions, and we only understand it when we arrive in that place.
Life is why change happens; as long as we are changing, we are alive, so it’s in our best interest to let it happen.
Because alive is a beautiful thing to be.
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Assistant Editor: Tifany Lee/Editor: Bryonie Wise