Change can be hard to accept for people. It is an upheaval to how things have been and forces us to learn or adapt to things we may not be used to. Sometimes it is needed for our growth and sometimes it’s just plain unexpected. Early in my life I set things in motion that I felt would be how I would live the rest of my life. Things that I wouldn’t change or do. Needless to say that life doesn’t always go as we would have thought.
As a kid I imagined being able to travel the world and go to those amazing places I had read about or saw on television. Coming from a poor family, we didn’t travel much further than a couple hours from our house. As I started working, my jobs never gave me the financial freedom to be able to plan those trips. I never got a passport to even begin to plan my globe trotting. I had been to Canada once during my 20s, but it was just across the border of Niagara Falls and only lasted part of the day. After that I decided to think about trips in the United States that could be a trade off for not visiting the far away destinations. Even then, my journals didn’t go very far.
I had never considered any other way of life or eating habits, other than being a carnivore. I won’t lie, I absolutely love meat, what isn’t to like? Hamburgers, steak, chicken, seafood, pizza, and the list just goes on. Was an avid milk drinker all my life, hell I could drink a gallon in a few short days. As I have gotten older, I started to realize my body isn’t reacting the same to a lot of what I was eating. But I remained stubborn and continued eating my favorite foods.
I started working in retail at a young age and was mostly happy with it. I moved up the ladder until I went into management. I have run stores that I have loved and have worked with mentors that taught me much about myself. I never figured I would leave retail. I went to school for Environmental Science, first, then later on to Information Technology. My own fear kept me from pursuing careers that were better and I resigned myself to stay in that field, until three years ago when I moved to the Cleveland area. I decided I needed to change and slowly I moved the the career I am in now and finally utilizing my IT skills and all I have learned in customer service in a non-profit. I love what I do.
Coming up on a year now, I have been seeing a special person. That was the first change. I really felt that I would spend the rest of my life alone. I had come to terms with that and wasnt unhappy about it. I had truly thought that I had already had my shot at happiness and my choices where what caused the outcome I was in. 2003 I buried my lover and spent the next few years trying to piece my life back together. I tried dating, but it never worked out. The people that I was meeting where ones I knew would not be long term. In hindsight, I probably chose them that way on purpose.
We met by pure chance, I had embarrassed myself by texting a comment to a friend that was inadvertently broadcasted over ALL of the TV screens in the bar. They saw the message and assumed I was talking about them. They approached me and the rest is, how you say, history. They are unlike any person I have met before. They have went through a lot in their life to get where they are now, but they choose to act/react to life in a way that doesn’t show fear. This zest for life, this tenacity in how they approach things is completely alien to me. It has shown me avenues I have not thought of before and pushed me to re-evaluate how I perceived things.
They are also vegetarian and that has created an interesting dynamic in my life. I have had vegetarian and vegan friends, but I knew it wasn’t for me. Many times I even made jokes at their expense. Now, I try things to see what they are like because it is a part of their life. I have learned to cook some things to make the vegetarian and I have even adopted a lot of their methods into my life. I would say that I am probably 60/40 carnivore/vegetarian.
I said they have been different than anyone in my past and it is true. I have not known love for someone like I feel for them. They have taught me not to put limits and labels on things in ways I had only started learning before they came into my life. They have shown me that these limitations prevent us from growing and doing the things we want to do.
Yes change is inevitable and needed, even when it is scary. But change is also a necessity to grow and thanks to this special person I can grow and become more than I was. I will say that this is one thing I would not want to change in my life. Their entrance into it has been amazing and frustrating all at once. The changes they have brought have removed the tunnel vision I created for myself many years ago. While change can be scary, it can also be exciting. Embrace that which you have been given and continue to change.