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The Art of Moving: Stepping Out of Comfort Zone and Confronting Unfamiliarity

The Art of Moving: Stepping Out of Comfort Zone and Confronting Unfamiliarity

Moving to a new place is truly a life changing experience, and often a rewarding one. Don’t get me wrong, moving requires intense commitment, adaptation, and faith; however, as you open up and become cognizant of your surroundings, opportunities appear to present themselves.

I sincerely empathize with all the young ones out there who have experienced moving in any form, whether it is transitioning to a new school, town, state, or even country.

Consequently, I would like to share a story on my personal experience moving to a new town. Now just to clarify, I moved to a neighboring town only a ten-minute drive from my original home, but I quickly learned that simply starting fresh required much more than I had anticipated.

Here is my experience:

“Josh! Get up, will you! It’s time,” my brother exclaimed.

I immediately sat up, wincing in pain from the backache I developed thanks to the unforgiving, wooden floor. I slowly turned and noticed the stark bare walls of my room and the absence of familiar furniture. I closed my eyes, searching for the familiar scent of my mother’s delectable cooking wafting up the stairs.  But it was not to be. Then I suddenly remembered: today was no ordinary day. Today was the day I would lose everything I had worked toward and cherished. I was moving to another school district.

While sensing impending doom, I also felt as if I were facing intense devastation. Each day moving forward was simply one less day I had to thrive in my familiar habitat; my refuge; my home. I spent every moment signifying the final experiences I would ever undertake there: the last time awakening to the life heard through the thin walls of the surrounding townhomes, the last time meandering through the hallways of my soon-to-be old high school, the last time playing ball outside to relieve mental exhaustion, the last time setting foot into my humble abode.

“Stop standing around and help with the boxes!” my dad commanded, startling me.

I immediately snapped back into reality, finding myself amid family members organizing boxes and carrying hefty loads into the car. My mom’s firm supervision seemed to keep everyone at peak performance. I promptly joined the strenuous routine and marched onward to fulfill a mission, steadfast on transporting precious cargo to its destination.

Eager to fill in the empty spaces at our new home, I unloaded the boxes and let my instincts take control. Each book, picture frame, and chair found its new place, much like a piece of a complex puzzle. Each box revealed yet another fragment of equal importance toward a bigger picture.

However, day after day, box after box, the workload was unending. I noticed swelling frustration as I simply could not adapt to the new environment on command. Lingering in unfulfilling purgatory, I found my typically optimistic outlook helplessly waning. Rather than focus on the tasks at hand, I embarked on rebellious crusades to instill guilt and regret within my parents for abandoning a “perfect life” and choosing one of burdening responsibility.

“With change come countless opportunities,” my parents repeated ceaselessly.

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Initially, I completely disregarded their wisdom and carried on with my rants. As time progressed, though, I couldn’t help but realize how our move afforded me so many new experiences that I would ordinarily not have had: volunteering at a hospital, researching an alternate synthesis of ibuprofen, publishing a research paper on pathogen-detecting, plant, nano-bionic sensors, and exceeding academic goals. In time, I began to settle into my niche within the population of competitive students and worked my way through the ranks, establishing a strong network of friends, teachers, and mentors along the way.

Through the moving process, I became well acquainted with the inevitability of change and its impact on my personality. Through first-hand experience, I learned the value of challenging one’s existing comfort zone and confronting unfamiliarity head on. Had we not moved, I wouldn’t have established myself and proved that I was more than just another student engulfed in the oblivion of their surroundings and undetermined to make their mark.

The skills I developed after moving directly translated to my personal experiences as I transitioned to college as well. The familiar sensation of meeting so many new people and understanding the important values in finding good friends (which by the way is an art of itself), acquainting yourself with professors, and overall establishing yourself as an individual. 

We often forget to show gratitude for our successes and rant on our shortcomings. I share this story with you all to encourage a positive outlook on change as opposed to emphasizing every hardship you are faced with. For with change (as mom and dad had wisely preached) come countless opportunities.

Joshua Poravanthattil is an electrical engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh.

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The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
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