When I was younger, I was dead set on the notion that change was awful. I hated change and everything that it came with. The uncertainty, the starting over, the new environment. I just didn't like it.
The first day of a new school year was always nerve-wracking for me. There I was, 10-year-old Marvin, about to have a panic attack because I was too scared to go to school since I didn’t know where I would find my homeroom. Didn’t know whether or not I would like my new teachers or classmates.
Fast forward 5 years and nothing much had changed since my little morning tantrums. I still had a large distaste for change. There I was at 15 years old, standing across my mother’s kitchen table. “I don’t want to move” I shouted loudly. I tried to sound compelling and determined. But my voice didn’t get the memo. It wasn’t anger that I felt, it was fear. I was scared, even worse, terrified. And that fear came apparent in my trembling voice.
My mother had decided it was time to leave Germany behind and move to the United States to my father. Of course, me and my siblings did not have a say in this matter. That decision was made for us.
Moving halfway across the world was a tremendous life changer for me. I left everything behind to start all over again. 15-year-old me didn’t know it then, but that change was necessary, and it was without a doubt the right decision. That didn’t make it hurt any less of course when I had to say goodbye to my grandparents and all my friends.
Leaving my old life behind was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But it would turn out to be one of the most rewarding life events that had ever happen to me.
Just like my mother knew what I didn’t, she knew that moving out of our comfort zone, away from the easy, away from what we were used to, was necessary in order for us to have a better life. She knew what was best for me even when I couldn’t see it. Even when I yelled and fought back, even when I didn’t agree with it. She knew.
See, often times we think we know what we want, we know who we want to be with, we know where we want to work and where we want to live. Well, we think we know. But do we really?
Back then I thought that I belonged in Germany. I thought my place was in the city where I was born. It was home, and even though it will always be home, I now know that I had to go.
Sometimes we have to go too. We have to leave behind what we know. Many of us have been trained to seek the sure thing. To place our bets on what looks most likely, and to rest in the conviction of assurance. This is especially true if in some shape or form, you find yourself in many comfortable positions and places in your life.
But comfort is overrated, and not only because it is often mistaken for happiness. Comfort, for all its enticement, can be a hindrance to drive, and to destiny. Comfort can be the greatest Achilles Heel.
We think we are happy, but in reality, we are just comfortable. We think we want that someone, when really, they are just all we know. They’re comfortable. And we like comfortable.
But true happiness is not found in comfort. Your destiny does not lie with consolation.