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ruthless compassion
16 April 2004 @ 11:20 pm
It occurs to me that a lot of change is invisible when you're living it. It's only with retrospection that you realize that things are different, since, hey, when you're in the midst of it, you're you, and that's that.

I expected my time away last fall to change me, but I didn't know how, and part of me figured that it wouldn't be that big a deal, and that mainly what I was doing was about breaking myself out of my ruts and doing something I'd always wanted to do but never actually figured on doing, particularly not for such a long period of time. Four months in a lifetime isn't much, but when you're living it, a third of a year is a fair chunk of time.

This week, however, I'm meeting a new aspect of myself: I have a new willingness to be unsettled, to be up in the air, and (this is the most significant, to me, at this moment) to have a major spur-of-the-moment decision and to go with it.

Two years ago, if I had had a moment of realization that, wow, a month away in a foreign country would be a really good thing for me and that it fit in my life, I would think about it for a while, I would ponder it, and I would let it go. I was comfortable and not very interested in taking a life-shifting risk, and really not very likely to do something well out of my norm, like go somewhere foreign for a month.

A year ago, when I had a realization that I needed a major change in my life, I took six months to organize and plan and make it happen. I gathered information and tried to have as much knowledge as possible about it before I went.

This week, I did have that moment of realization, and yesterday and today, I'm working to make it happen, on less than three weeks' notice. No, I'm not going to a totally new place, and I'm not going for four months, but even so.

It's really fabulous to be willing and able to do this, to take advantage of what comes up for me, and it feels like a good thing for my future to have gained the ability to turn, if not on a dime, at least not on a football field, either. And I'm thrilled to be able to see this as a change, too, because it's all too easy to overlook those changes that aren't instantaneous.