Adaptability

I have moved five times in the last three years and have had a handful of different jobs. So far in my life, I have lived in eleven different towns ranging from very small villages - nearly off the grid to large cities, and sometimes relocated several different times within the same city. In addition, I have had extended stays for weeks and sometimes months at other people's homes or hotels along the way. Not to mention the 14 months of my youth that I spent at a lockdown behavioral correctional facility (Meet 'Desperately Seeking The 60s Flower Child' - ahem, Yours Truly, in the early 2000s). 

Through this, I have discovered that I seem to have an innate ability to adapt to my environment. Like a chameleon, I can change my color depending on where I am in the world. But what I have found to be critical in navigating adaptability is walking my truth regardless of whether I am walking on a dirt road or a city sidewalk. Staying true to myself, my core, my roots - staying grounded in who I am whether I am wearing my flannel, jeans, and Sperry boat-shoes or my black slacks, silk blouse, and Gucci heels. 

After-all, a chameleon doesn't change it's insides , characteristics, or behavior - the change is reflected externally. In fact, I just learned while writing this that the chameleon doesn't change color due to surroundings per se but rather as a means of communicating it's emotions

Not to say that it isn't HARD (sometimes it is massively difficult!) to uproot and change environments, or that that there isn't an adjustment period or a moment(s) of complete shock. The key for me is knowing that I am right where I need to be in the world and trusting that the decisions I have made have been exactly what I need at any given time. The times where I have felt the most uncertain and chaotic are times when I have lost trust in myself and doubted my judgement. 

It doesn't matter where I am in the world, there are still things that I include in my daily life that make me feel... more me. Yoga, writing, walking, meditation, nature, nutrition dense foods, music... without these rituals and elements, I slowly become more detached from my higher-self and higher-power. 

From a palm-tree filled back yard in West Palm Beach to a building rooftop in Philadelphia, to a wide open deck in Bar Harbor to my (cozy) shoebox bedroom in Brooklyn, I lay my mat down and all is well in the world. 

My point - is that I may have different experiences and surrounded by vastly different environments, but the way that I live my life (with some tweaks along the way) remain the same. I still lay around for hours on the weekends listening to music and writing - coffee by my side - followed by long walks, farmers markets, meeting friends, yoga... No matter where I am, I love to 'see what I see, and do what I do.' And regardless of whether I am in a 9-5 or setting my own hours, on the weekday mornings I sip lemon water, get some exercise or journaling and reading in (depending on the day) and then begin my work for the day, usually followed by yoga and ending with meditation. Put me in the woods or above the subway - I am still ME. 

I'll end with song by Eddie Vedder, possibly one of my favorite soloists of all time. It's beautifully thought-provoking and humbling - and helps to keep me sane on my commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Even while jam packed into the train like a sardine - there is still a calm in my heart. 

 

"Society"
(originally by Jerry Hannan)

It's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
And you think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all, you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have, you think you need
And when you think more than you want, your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
Cause when you have more than you think, you need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you're not lonely without me

There's those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more, how you keepin score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you're startin' from the top
And you can't do that

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, you're crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me

The times in my life where I have felt the most fulfilled, grateful, and that abundance is all around me, is when I have less - when my life is completely downsized - and even when my income has shrank (or diminished). 

When just about everything you own is packed into a car or a room and you realize you still have more than you need - it's at that moment you feel truly blessed. 

So go ahead and walk about. Feed your rat (an expression I picked up in Australia, meaning "feed your adventure"). 

Carry peace with you amid the chaos but don't ever fear the chaos for it will rip through you no matter where you are in the world. Just keep standing your ground. 

- AeBailey