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  • Writer's pictureLena Jennings

Stay Curious

Change is the only constant in life. From the moment we were conceived we have been experiencing some form of change. It is said that experience begets confidence, naturally one would think the more experience we have with change the easier it will be. Ha.

I’m entering into a new season in my life. I am experiencing new financial responsibilities with the purchase of my first home. I moved to a new state so I am adapting to the new streets, a new grocery store, a new climate, a new routine, and finding new friends. I got into a relationship for the first time in 5 years and I'm relearning what vulnerability means in the context of a new individual. I switched careers and I’m learning how to further my own business while managing a full time job. Mind you, all of these things happened in the span of 3 months. So needless to say -- a lot of change happened and is still happening.

Don’t get me wrong -- I prayed, and prayed hard, for these changes to come about and I am excited about them. But now that they’re in my possession I realize that I haven’t stopped long enough to process them. I’ve been trying to adapt to the changes and feel settled in the newness without properly marking the transition. To quote William Bridges in his book Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes, he says:

Transition is psychological; change is situational. It is not events, but rather the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.

The transition from being single to being a partner; from living in my parents home to living on my own; from having to only pay for brunch and airline tickets to electricity and homeowners insurance; the transition from being surrounded by community to prayers for community in Chicago; but most importantly the transition from what feels like my younger, dependent, naive self to an empowered, confident, and aware adult self. I haven’t marked the transition in my heart to do the internal work that comes with the changes. That internal work has me starting therapy again, filling pages of my journal with thoughts, and spending some time in solitude to process information.

I rest in the appreciation of my former season and walk into this next season with a heightened curiosity. Like a toddler who is learning how to walk, they are so wobbly and fall every 3 steps but they still get back up. They eventually learn how to walk but that’s not their focus -- learning how to walk for a toddler is out of sheer curiosity to learn about the world they are in. The world would be a better place if more adults could tap into the innate curiosity we display as children but seem to lose as we age. If we could maintain a good balance of curiosity and maturity, you’ll have a huge edge in life. So as I experience all of these changes I have to stay curious because even though I may stumble along the way, I’ll get there eventually. Where is that “there?” There is just learning along the way. I follow my curiosity that is driven by relentlessness.

That life can be extraordinary if it is fueled by a trait few people possess: curiosity.

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