In life, there are moves and there are good moves.
A “move” is often the term used for a given course of action, particularly one involving bravery or bravado and occurring after a prolonged period of inaction.
Similarly, one’s approach with a romantic interest may be referred to as his/her “move”.
Other types of moves may be directionally categorized as upward, forward, backward, or lateral. We “move” to formally propose a change of agenda. In relocating to a new place of residence, we are, in the parlance of the British, “moving house”.
Finally, our “move” is our turn at play in a game. Some people say that life is like a game and we’re all pawns being shuffled according to other people’s whims. If so, our “move” might have less of an impact on our own fortunes and future than we hope or want it to.
This latter definition was how I felt when I found out I was going to be renovicted from my current apartment: I felt like some wealthy industrialist who didn’t even know I existed (to say nothing for my love and personal need for stability, consistency, and some level of predictability) was manipulating the course of my life to satisfy his own bottom line.
Which, to be clear, is exactly what was happening.
Yet I can’t place the full blame for my situation on my building’s owner. The truth is, I’d been unhappy there for over a year now due to an impossible-to-reason-with upstairs neighbour who walked only slightly softer than an advancing Roman army on a forced march at midnight … and every other time as well.
(I also had the upstairs loud sex couple that wasn’t even directly above me but rather up and one over, which is, to say the least, very loud indeed.)
But after being thwarted in my initial attempts to resolve these situations, I never bothered to do anything more about them. The thought of moving out of my own volition literally never occurred to me as a course of action.
Sure, I’d joked about it often enough (“I need to find a new place to live before she falls through the ceiling and flattens me.”) and once or twice suggested that once I finished writing my WIP (originally slated for April 1 before all this moving business came to be), I’d consider looking for a new place. But I’d made no commitments to it nor initiated any arrangements to actually do it.
Impermanence and uncomfortableness
Adaptability, I believe, is humankind’s greatest strength. It allows us to overcome challenges and adversity – to see the eventual benefits and/or blessings of whatever befalls us, and to rebuild ourselves and our lives bigger and better than before.
The famous saying “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” owes its existence to this persistence and resilence of the human spirit.
Adaptability, though, can also be a curse, especially for people like me, who like to keep their impact on the world and the goodwill of others small. It can lead to complacency – to the question of why bother and the observation that in the grand scheme of things, this minor inconvenience doesn’t really matter.
After all, there are so many worse things to complain about in the world, so why be such a hassle or likewise go through all that hassle of trying to fix it?
Which is not an invalid argument to the contrary.
I’ve now spent two nights in my new apartment and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it feels weird to be in a new space. All my belongings are in boxes all over the place; the layout of rooms and walls is completely different (to which my battered hips and toes can attest), and there are so many new sounds that I’m not used to.
To be completely honest, as with most new things, I don’t feel that comfortable in here. Yet.
I need to take the way I feel at this very moment as an important lesson. Writer and spiritualist Eckhart Tolle states in his book, A New Earth,that both positive and negative change is challenging, which is a big reason why people often choose to adapt to their situation instead.
Tolle also writes that all structures – not just physical, tangible ones – are impermanent.
My new place is bigger, less expensive, on the top floor, south-facing, and is in the same neighbourhood I was so loath to depart as my previous apartment. By all intents and purposes, it is a good move, and I’m sure in due course my comfort with it will grow.
I just need to ensure I don’t get too comfortable.
Do you often adapt to negative situations or are you more likely to seek a change? Does change come easily for you? Why or why not? Tell me about it in the comments.
(Image: J.G. Noelle)