Every human being experiences change in life both emotionally and mentally. Change that happens within us doesn’t happen without reason. Change occurs because of various factors influencing us both from within and from outside.
Change has an immense impact on our life. Some people feel happy about change in general and welcome it into their lives, others feel sad and depressed coping with change.
Those, who are happy, are people who have prepared themselves to face change, while people who feel depressed are not ready for change. Unexpected situations can be scary and often cause frustration if there is no openness to accept it. There are many things that happen in our life, unexpected and abruptly. I personally fear them.
A while ago, many things shifted in my life. There was a time where I had to take hard decisions that pushed me to lean out of my comfort zone. Days that were so beautiful and comfortable with friends that turned into days full of challenges and hardship. Of course this change had a very significant impact on me – mentally and physically.
June 2016, a huge decision that I took have brought huge change to my own life and my family. After eleven years of studying in a seminary, I was forced to step outside into the world laying at my feet. The biggest challenge I experienced for the first time was how to manage my own time when everything really was possible. Besides that, I had to leave the community and my friend’s circle that I had created for several years. A situation that I think is very difficult for most people.
Life is full of mystery, that is the reality we must face as human beings. No one has ever known what will happen tomorrow. Two years ago, I never imagined that I would come to Bali and work for Dojo. Living in Bali and working in a coworking space seemed not imaginable with the knowledge I gained and the world I knew bake then.
Primarily I didn’t know what to do with my philosophical and theological studies. Secondly I often felt that I was daydreaming, being so far away from reality. Looking back, I realized now that “everything happened for a reason.”
I studied for 11 years in a seminary to prepare myself to be a missionary to work with migrants. I had a great time studying at Ateneo de Manila University. The school and studies there formed me intellectually and spiritually to become a person who is well prepared to enter a world full of dynamics. As a child who grew up in a simple family in a small village, it is certainly a great honor to receive higher education. Your parents and family will have so much hope in you. The fact that I decided to change my life 180 degrees and live my own way of life is a big thing to them. A change that they cannot understand.
The transition period that I went through was long and tiring. It took me nearly one year to truly accept the fact that I decided to live my life on my own terms. Building up a new life with a lot of freedom certainly was a huge challenge especially sustaining myself financially. Going through a challenging time without friends and family around was another hard part of my journey.
A year passed, gradually, I was able to accept that I needed to be open to change – even welcome it. To be honest, I was struggling quite a lot with this situation. I almost lost self-confidence when I realized that not everyone can accept us as who we are. A new environment forced me to change may way of life and adapt into the new environment in order to survive. Similar to a plant growing between the rocks: It must bend himself in such a way so that it can get sunlight in order survive.
Change means giving up the old way of life and embracing a new one
Understanding a process of change in life requires time, energy and strong self-resilience. Because change means often pain. Why do I say that? It is because changing means giving up the old way of life and embracing a new one. Giving up something that is comfortable is painful. It takes a lot of courage. Similar to a baby who when it is born must cry because he just got out from the comfortable situation in his mother’s womb to enter a new world. That cry is a cry of pain and joy. In pain because he had to be separated from his mother who had conceived him for nine months, and a cry of joy because he can finally enter into a new world.
After going through this difficult time, I was finally able to adapt to the new way of life I had chosen. There are many things I have learned throughout this transition process. I realized a certain positive impact within me and it now helps me to see and live my life in different way.
My life is no longer merely a routine but has turned into a more dynamic and colorful life. I know that as long as I live, I will always be going through the process of transformation. Therefore, I have to be open and ready to new challenges with courage.
Everything happens for a reason
The period of formation that I underwent while in the seminary shaped me into a person who is kind and open to everyone regardless of ethnicity, religion or culture, etc. I am very grateful to be able to be in Dojo and spend most of my days in such a dynamic and lively community. People from different cultures and professional backgrounds inspire me and at the same time help me in my ongoing process of transformation.
Learn from the past for the sake of a better future
Lastly, I thank everyone who has been part of my transformation both in the past and present. Understanding change in life is important, because it’s where you can see and reflect on the footprints you have left. Collecting all the pieces of life and re-assemble them into a new life. Reflecting on the change of life is a process of self-understanding in which I have to learn from the past for the sake of a better future.
Also published on Medium.