The word "change" used to make me cringe. In counseling when I was 14 years old, I remember completing a form and that word filled in nearly every blank.
What is your biggest fear? Change.
What do you dislike the most? Change.
What has been the hardest experience in your life thus far? Change.
What makes you feel angry? Change.
What makes you feel sad? Change.
If Change were a person, I'd almost feel bad for it. Poor thing took the blame for all of my struggles. But, when you frequently change continents, schools, friends, houses, and just about everything else, it becomes almost essential to find something to blame for the gut-wrenching achiness that seems to always be looming. Change seemed to be a reasonable thing to pin it on. Better than blaming my parents, their work, or God.
I remember my teenage-self telling someone that my ideal life would be one that stayed the same forever. One house, one city, kids who attend one school their whole lives. Maybe if change were absent, life would hurt less.
Turns out, that's not really how it works.
Turns out, many TCKs grow to need change, to crave change, to even subconsciously yearn for change. I never, ever thought that would be me. Turns out, I was wrong.
In adulthood, my greatest enemy became my friend. My comfort zone. Now, my answers on that form would look more like this:
What is your biggest fear? Being stuck in one place for forever.
What do you dislike the most? Going months without traveling.
What has been the hardest experience in your life thus far? Learning to settle into one place.
Funny how life works.
It is because of Change that I grew into the person that I am; that I had so many incredible experiences. It is because of Change that I desire for my kids to experience the abundant, hard, wonderful, challenging, confusing, incredible life of being a TCK. It is because of Change that I am learning the art of being able to move and adapt and also to settle in one place for a while.
So, if Change were a person, we would shake hands and exchange a small, knowing smile- one mixed with apology and gratefulness. Mine silently saying, "I'm sorry I blamed you for everything. You really are one of the best things that ever happened to me" and Change's saying, "I'm sorry it had to hurt so bad. I'm glad you see now the good that I knew would come from it."
Change did not make my life easy. In fact, I was certain it was bound and determined to ruin my life. Turns out, God used Change to direct my life, to give me an abundant life, to shape and mold my life, and now to influence my family's life. Turns out, Change, you aren't so bad after all. I'm glad we're friends.