I’ve been thinking about this recently because I’m in the process of selling my house. Moving is always a big change, and it can be a pain. Keeping the garden and house immaculate for open inspections, packing boxes, the emotional toll of working out which possessions to keep and which to get rid of, not to mention the process of saying goodbye to your home – it’s an ordeal.
When I bought the house, I thought my life was pretty well mapped out ahead of me. I was working as a communications manager in the not-for-profit sector, and I thought I’d keep on doing that, teaching yoga on the side as a hobby rather than a livelihood. My income would gradually but steadily increase, and the monthly home loan payments would go from being ridiculous to being manageable, according to my plan.
I was in a long-term relationship, and my partner and I moved into the house together (we’d already been living together for a while). I thought we’d live happily ever after in this cute little house, along with Darren the cat. Eventually we’d add a loft bedroom and extra bathroom, and put solar panels on the roof.
But life doesn’t always go the way you’ve planned. I started an exciting new job just after we moved into the new house – and after six solid months of working 60-hour weeks, I was burnt out. I’d been travelling a lot and had barely seen my partner for months (and even when we did spend time together, my brain was so full of work I couldn’t actually talk or even think about anything else).
I was aware that he was miserable – in retrospect, I’d say quite depressed – but I was only really aware of it somewhere in the back of my brain; I couldn’t seem to make space to think about it amidst all the work crap that somehow seemed more pressing at the time.
So gradually, some big changes took place – my partner and I split up and he moved interstate (taking Daz the cat with him). I found a flatmate to live in the second bedroom, which had been our study. I realised that I didn’t want to spend my entire life thinking about press releases, e-newsletters, web updates and social media, and I started looking for a job that would give me the mental space I needed to work out what I wanted to do next.
Since then, I’ve been through lots of changes. I’ve opened my own yoga studio, had three different three flatmates, gained a nephew who’s a big part of my life… the list goes on.
Like everyone, I’ve been through changes that have been pretty hard going. Some have been changes I’ve consciously made; others have been changes that I’ve had no control over whatsoever. But through all of them, I have remained aware that the tough times wouldn’t last. Change can be challenging, but it also leads to new opportunities and I believe it gives you greater strength.
Now, it simply feels like time for a change. Things have been becoming stagnant and I need to shift. So I made the decision to sell my house, and I’ve made a conscious choice to enjoy the process. I’m finding positives at every step along the way (even if packing boxes will never be my idea of fun).
I have given bags full of clothes, linen and seldom-used kitchen gadgets to charity, and this has felt incredibly cleansing. Not only are my cupboards less crowded, but I actually feel lighter. I’ve cleaned and scrubbed and weeded, and now I can enjoy my sparkling windows, de-cobwebbed corners and beautiful garden.
Most of all, I’m choosing to be excited about the future. I’ll move out of my house and into my parents’ granny flat until I buy a new place, and I’m not sure what or where that will be. And I’m actually completely okay with that. One way or another, it will all work out.
Life’s not going to throw anything at me that I’m not capable of handling. When I do encounter difficulties, I’ll just keep moving forward one step at a time. I’ll find joy in small things, I’ll smile as I remember good times that have passed, and I’ll welcome new opportunities with open arms.
Here are my top tips for facing change: