When I don’t post for a while, it’s always because there’s been some shakeup in my personal life. My attention has been drawn elsewhere. These past few days, as I’ve been hanging pictures and sorting things in my new apartment, I’ve been plagued by the nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something. Something important.

Plunger? No, I bought a plunger.

My ridiculous Ganesh bedspread? No, I saw that in a box somewhere…

Oh! It’s this! This writing thing I sometimes do! This thing that, besides yoga and my family, has been the only constant in my life over the past 15 years!

I’ve been hustling, working three jobs, so what little free time I do have has become very precious to me. I’ve been trying to build a life here in these hills of West Virginia, in an environment that is simultaneously completely foreign and the closest thing I’ve ever known to home. See, while I was a big, bad New Yorker for thirteen years, I grew up here in Appalachia. My family moved from Western New York to Eastern Kentucky when I was about ten. Uprooted from everything I’d ever known, the landscape (the rolling hills, the dips and valleys they called “hollers”), the climate (coming from the Snow Belt, the heat was oppressive until it became a old friend), the people (intensely guarded yet polite, until they took you in as one of their own, at which time they would, unblinkingly, die for you), were so strange and unknowable to me. Until I started to know them.

This was my first real lesson in adapting.

Being faced with something new is always scary. New jobs, new homes, new friends, new love – all are sort of terrifying until you get your bearings. It takes a certain amount of patience before you can navigate it with any confidence. And if you do this enough times, eventually this, too, becomes something of an old friend. This fear eventually propels you, challenges you, and forces you to grow.

I’m not saying that people who have faced minimal change in their lives are somehow less. Being born and raised in the same place, surrounded by the same people, staying there and forging your own foundation, are things I will never know. I imagine it requires a different kind of courage.

But this constant change has made me the person I am. The idea of changing jobs or living spaces sends a certain familiar thrill up my spine now. I know it won’t be easy, and many times it won’t be fun, but I’ve grown to embrace the challenge. Because soon, this, too, will become familiar. Soon, this, too, will become home.

Aluminum foil! That’s what else I’m forgetting!

It’s time for a new adventure.