Hey, how are ya?
After what felt like harsh weeks in the tundra, today in New England the temperature hit nearly fifty. “HEAT WAVE,” some folks joked. The change in weather felt refreshing, but also ironic for me since I am undergoing some big changes in my life.
This week I attended orientation for graduate school. As of Monday, I will be back to hitting the books, which is a big change from the work I have been doing over the last few months of my “gap semester.” I spent the last four months working on this blog and writing a memoir about my life. During that process, I had plenty of time to think about what “change” means to me. I’ve had to dig deep to think about painful memories and positive triumphs to identify what has helped me maneuver life changes: I am comfortable making adjustments on the fly.
For example, in basketball when a defender is guarding you before you dribble the ball, you learn to pivot to get yourself out of a jam and see what or who is open. With each day or month that brings a new surprise to me, I’ve learned to figure a way around the issue by ‘pivoting.’ Growing up with the constant need to pivot has been a battle and not always easy.
I have learned to embrace the unknown. More specifically, I embrace the fear of the unknown. I have found that as fearful as I might be of the challenges to come, I have to face them head-on. I also feel excited, nervous, eager, happy, afraid– the list goes on. So while my emotions are firing and my brain is wiring, I start to think of a proper response to stress. How I should handle everything is a mystery until I get there. Yet I know I will be required to make some adjustments. And that mystery – and the new challenges I will face – are what make me feel most alive.
When facing something unknown: expect to have your shot blocked, to lose the ball out of bounds, to get double-teamed, and to be fouled. If you can start to anticipate these things coming at you in life, you can become more comfortable pivoting, adjusting, and making magic happen in the moment. Change can be scary, but it is inevitable. Just like the falling and rising temperatures of winter in Massachusetts, we can’t know what tomorrow will bring. We must adjust to what comes our way.