Adapting to Change

"Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain"

- Vivian Greene

Throughout 2020 it seems that many of us have been learning the lesson of dancing in the rain in some form or another. Some (including myself) need to be reminded, re-learn, re-evaluate, and re-learn this lesson. We have been through lockdowns, washing our groceries, embarrassment if we had to sneeze, isolation, fear of judgement, experience of judgment, witness of or participation in protests, an election, job losses, cancelled plans, and so much more. Looking back to February and March of 2020 I think many of us may have never imagined we would still be existing in a reality where seeing our loved ones and friends meant self-isolation, masks, limited touch, and fear. Many have experienced family dynamics that have become increasingly complicated, given we all have varying ideas of what is considered ‘safe’ in this new world we are now navigating.

As we begin to enter the cooler months and coming holiday season it seems many of us have adapted to this current reality in ways perhaps our November 2019 year-old selves might have never dreamed. Sometimes I think of all that has occurred throughout 2020 and wonder, how is it even possible I am okay and functioning?! The answer that I come back to seems to be this, we are animals. Like animals, we adapt, we acclimate to our environment, we endure, we change in ways we could never imagine for ourselves. Humans as a species are far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.

We are facing a winter where many of our holidays will be lonely and quiet. Many of us will be longing for connection while at the same time fearful that connection could hurt or even potentially threaten the life of one of our loved ones or those connected to them. How is one to navigate this reality with any sense of sanity? For many of us, that means setting aside expectations of what we “should” be doing and open our minds to the new possibilities of what is. There will be pain, there will be sadness, and there will be moments of joy.

How do I dance in the rain? I remind myself that while the change has been sudden and in our face this year, this is the nature of everything, always. 2020 has only forced us to see the nature of change with limited space to hide from it. There is beauty and freedom in understanding this truth. When I find space to sit in this truth, I am able to navigate life with less fear of the storm, because I know that each storm that comes will make me a better dancer as I continue to find strength I didn’t even know I had.

© 2020 by Carmen Tillman.