I open my eyes in a dark room: the kind of dark where you cannot see a hand in front of your face, darker than a starless night. Since I cannot see my surroundings, I blink blindly and think hard about where in the world I have spent the past 8 hours unconscious. Blink. Blink. Blink. Bellingham? Olympia? Oregon?
I have no idea where I am.
Suddenly, it hits me like a sequence of arrows: I was on a plane. I flew across the ocean. I am on Kauai. This state of amnesia only lasts about a 30 seconds but it feels like an eternity. I can only imagine what it would be like to experience the heart-pounding realization that you really do not remember where you are. Ironically, the medical term is Transient Global Amnesia (TGA). I am transient. I am global…So perhaps instead of acute TGA, I had minute TGA? I attribute this symptom of short-term memory fog to simply traveling too fast. When I stay in several different places for consecutive nights. That’s when it happens. I’ve talked to other travelers that have experienced this as well. Have you? It’s a crazy feeling.
Transitions are difficult. There’s no way around it. Transitions can create stress and confusion. We all know how stressful moving is. If anytime you make a major life change, it feels as if your existence is thrown into turmoil. If this is the case, then I am the queen of turmoil. At times I feel as if I’ve been in transition for the past 8 years, in a constant state of coming and going. I still haven’t mastered how to become emotionally unattached to the places I depart and arrive, and the truth is I don’t think I ever will. I think the only solution to dealing with the stress of transition is to embrace it. I focus on turning my anxiety into excitement. Thinking of adventures to come, not what could go wrong. I find comfort in the change that will bring new and empowering experiences my way. Open your heart to new opportunities and let the tightly wound carpet of worries unroll onto which ever path you choose.
After leaving the concrete jungles of the mainland, which are beautiful in their own way, I find myself surrounded by feral chickens and swaying palm trees on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, my island home. Kauai has always been a place of healing for me and I am lucky enough to have friends to help make this transition smooth and cool like an open ocean wave. In fact, life is very much like the ocean; in a constant state of motion. If I can learn to ebb and flow as my favorite element does, perhaps I can welcome change into a heart ready for transition. Next time I ask: “Where am I,” it will be more existential than literal.
Don’t let change overwhelm you; let it inspire you.