Learning to welcome changeMore than just “settling in”
Even though I still have my same old welcome mat, the second I walk into my new house, it doesn't feel like home. Photo credit: Vinh Tran
When I moved to America in 2006, I have lived in the same old and run down house for longer than I can remember. I’ve had more than a decade of memories under that roof, but there does come a time when one has to move on from their past. My mother’s solution to make some change was to literally move on.
I still consider my old house my childhood home, even if it’s just four miles away. But to my mother, it’s a place full of remnants of her past. All of her struggles with money and her family were all in that house but to me, my whole life was right there, on Redwood street.
Moving out of Spring Valley to Summerlin made me feel like Will Smith moving out of West Philadelphia to Bel-air. With Mercedes and Porsches parked in the driveways, this neighborhood was like a confusing maze of cookie-cutter houses supported by fat paychecks. Although I’ve been living in my house in Summerlin for about a week, it feels like I’m more of a visitor rather than an actual resident.
I don’t feel like I fit in because of my fear of change. I do welcome a few upgrades to my lifestyle every now and then, a sudden major change is a lot to take in. The feeling of familiarity is a lot to give up, and to create a new sense of comfort takes time. When I left the Philippines, it took a whole year for me to adjust to the new culture and language.
Adapting to a new environment is harder than it may seem. Instead of keeping up with the same established routine, there are different hurdles and changes to life that just breaks the rhythm. Like my morning routine when I first got my tattoo, I would have to use unscented soap to wash the tattoo, then apply an ointment throughout the day to keep it moisturized. It’s an inconvenience but a necessary change of pace.
However, there does come a time where muscle memory readjusts itself and that change of pace just becomes second nature. I’ve been able to adapt to a whole new culture and take care of my body differently, I should be able to feel at home in my own house.
The thing is, one doesn’t just “settle in” in the span of a few days or a couple of weeks; it may be a few months until I’m fully capable of calling Summerlin my neighborhood. But for now, there’s nothing I can do about this situation.
The best course of action someone in my situation should take is to just wait it out. There’s no going back when it comes to a permanent change. The best way to deal with a major adjustment in one’s lifestyle is just to go on with life. It’s not avoiding the problem, some things just can’t be helped, so, for now, I’ll just embrace the fact that I live right next to a Goodwill.