In 2015 I moved countries. As someone who loves the comfortable and familiar, this was a huge change for me, and I assumed it would be the biggest transition I would ever have to make. It involved re-learning how to live in the country I was born and raised in for a good chunk of my childhood. I had to make new friends and adjust to living away from my family.

A few years in, I started to feel at home in my new home. I learned to pay for my matatu ride as soon as the vehicle started moving instead of at the end of the trip like I was accustomed to. I figured out which ‘mama mboga’ in my neighborhood gave the best and most vegetables. I could even make trips to the city and back without getting lost and calling my husband for help.

Transitions are difficult and exhausting to go through. Even the welcome ones like childbirth, new employment and marriage have the hard weaved into the joy. One moment you are somewhat getting accustomed to the changes of pregnancy and the next you have a baby in your arms and surviving on four hours of sleep on a good day.

Most times we wish these seasons away, missing the life that we knew as normal but looking forward to getting past the transition stage and into feeling settled again. A newly expectant mother cannot wait to get past the difficult first trimester. A mother with a newborn cannot wait to get past the colic stage or maybe to ‘bounce back’ and feel like herself again; one with a toddler cannot wait to get past the tantrum stage. It feels like we are always in the in-between, waiting for things to get back to normal. It is like chasing the wind.

I now realise however, that in the in-between is where life happens. Holding your breath waiting for things to get back to ‘normal’ only leads to not living fully in the now. What is normal anyway? The uncomfortable truth is that there is always something changing in life. Loss of employment, starting a new job, giving birth, getting married, moving house, losing loved ones…the list is endless. Life is not filled with transition; it is transition. It is probable that what you are currently navigating will not be the last.

Three years after what I thought was my biggest transition, I suffered a huge loss, started a new job (essentially new career), and moved countries again all in one month! I had to learn simple things all over again, like the USSD code to load airtime on my phone. Not to mention the big things, like working out a childcare plan for my baby as I was no longer a stay at home momma. Once again, I was frazzled and craving normalcy. What had felt so alien and uncomfortable when I first moved in 2015, is what I now missed. It made me realise that I cannot escape change, and that does not have to be a bad thing. Instead of dreading it before it comes and then fighting it when it does, it’s better to accept it, even embrace it. Looking back, all the transitions I have been through have made me what I am today. I have accepted the truth that growth lies outside my comfort zone.

This world is not our home. We are spiritually in transit, and that manifests in the physical transitions we must face. The big and the little ones. The welcome and the unwelcome ones. Instead of chasing the wind, may we live where life has us. When that is a place of stability and rest, enjoy it, and when change comes, and it will, find the good and revel in it. Recognize that nothing is permanent, but everything presents an opportunity for growth. Since you cannot avoid change, you might as well grow from it.

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