The Poetry of Life

Packing Up Shop

I’ve managed to settle into the routine of Marburg, and of course now it’s time to leave. For as many moves as I’ve willingly pursued, you would think that I wouldn’t be fazed by them anymore. But when it comes to moving, I’m still like a child screaming until I’m blue in the face. I hate change, even when I know it’s for the best. And every change weighs on my body: My immune system weakens, I sleep all the time, and I cannot focus for weeks. It’s a full-body protest to change. It’s not so much that I fear a new environment (although perhaps my body does). Rather it’s my prospective inner environment that frightens me. During change the lack of control tears away at my nerves, and the loneliness chills my core. I’m afraid of the negative thoughts that will come along with these and the horrible things that I’ll tell myself in an attempt to make sense of my nonsensical new situation. Many would say that this worrying is completely useless, but try telling me that! I once heard the Dalai Lama say something like, “You should never worry about anything. If it’s something that can be changed, then you shouldn’t worry about it because you will be strong enough to deal with it when it comes. And if it cannot be changed, then you shouldn’t worry because there will be nothing you can do about it. Either way, there’s no need to worry.” And then he grinned his child-like peaceful grin. Oh Dalai Lama, I wish I had your simplicity! They say that humans are different from all other animals in that we’re able to play through situations in our heads before they even happen and anticipate possible outcomes. I wonder sometimes how well this part of our brain is developed. I mean, maybe we’re just the half-step in evolution between a creature that only lives in the present and a creature that can actually anticipate the future, you know? Like we’re still the test run for this new capability. For now we’re just stuck with worries, these troubling thought cycles, which are rarely true previews of the future and like the Dalai Lama said, are never useful. Still, my brain is screaming as if in detox. My heels are digging into the ground. I don’t want to go. But in just a few days it will be time to pack up shop again. Next stop is Heidelberg, the first place in the past year where I will live for more than 5 months. I’ve never looked forward to settling down so much. I’ve never been so sick of change.

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