Change is never easy, especially when you feel like your whole life is constantly in a state of change. Whether at home or abroad, we are constantly excited by the thought of something new or for a break from the known, but too often we completely shy away from those changes. Even little tasks of change are continuously put off day after day.
But ever so often, we actually take a change, jumpstart an option, push reset, or just plain breakaway. I’d like to think I had much control over my decision to change jobs but in reality a lot of factors fell into place and it was only in hindsight in which could I marvel at the difference it made.
Maybe you’re like me, so eager to prove you can work in any situation with mastery and resolve. So much so that you stay at a place draining your talent and perspective without providing value to you. You stay because eventually it’ll all come together. Truly, it’ll never work and it’ll be nothing more than a dead end that you just can’t veer from. Change is hard and it’s scary. Only later can we revel in the joy it can be. At which point, we wonder why we don’t do it more often. A lesson that as adults, we quickly forget time and time again.
Scarier than change is the realization that for 25 years of my life, I was content with people, places, and activities that mostly lacked value. I am constantly trying to improve my skillsets, my character, and my connection with other. All of this is great to a point. I was actively seeking to better the value I brought to others, but what about the value that I was receiving?
Largely, it was lacking. I was pouring large portions of myself into people and endeavors that had no intention of returning even a small portion of that value to my life. So as I’ve made changes these past two months, despite the agony felt by making changes only two years into my new lifestyle, I’ve come to realize that I am a better me when I let go of the things that don’t provide in return. Jobs that are just not working should be runoff. People that only take, take, take, should walk, walk, walk. And places that don’t spark my passion and creativity nor develop my drive and growth are not worth the cost of rent.
After all, humans are the most curious of all the animals. Since the birth of human civilization, we have constantly moved, explored, migrated and returned. What if what we have always been looking for is value? Value as progress, as love, as hope. What if what we crave is the feeling that comes with receiving? And what it, as odd as it seems, we become better givers by being well-received?
When I changed jobs, I had to restructure my life, my routine. Of course I had more work than ever now that I had to complete my old responsibilities and prepare for my news ones. Expats never get off easily when making employment adjustments. Yet, after the extra burst of work, I now have more time for my own projects. I don’t feel chronically stressed or undervalued. I also get to leave work at work and my many self-led projects having a fighting chance. It’s like finally being able to breathe through you nose after a bad cold. Suddenly it just feels so easy-going and natural. And just like that, I became a better value-giver.
Be the ‘you’ that you’d value because in the end nothing is more valuable in your life than you.