How to know it’s time to make a change

As nice as it sounds to live in a tropical paradise year-round, I know I’d miss the seasons.

I’d miss the semi-regular shift in the atmosphere, the sense of change, anticipation, and nostalgia that colours the background of every day. I’d miss reuniting with my favourite sweaters and staying inside watching movies guilt-free. I’d miss the excitement my spring allergies brought with them and that first dip in the lake.

Even when you grow tired of endless cold or exhausting heat, there’s always something fond about the struggle.

Lately, the seasons have seemed particularly evident.

Last summer brought the end of an era when my parents sold my childhood home. I wasn’t living there at the time, but it was odd to think of an anonymous family cooking in the same kitchen I burned my first meal.

That summer, I also savoured the last season in the big house with the big deck–the one where I lived with four human friends, a cat, a gecko, and two dog friends. After a year there (the longest I’ve been in one place consecutively since that childhood home in high school) it, too, felt like the end of an era.

By the time the leaves started to change, our housemates had gone separate ways. September crept in with an aura of new school year excitement, even though I was no longer in school. Everyone from my yoga teacher to my best friends felt it in the air.

After a long warm fall, winter initiated another shift. This time, I abandoned the regular seasonal programming in exchange for two months in the sticky heat of South East Asia. Then, a week after returning as a “new person”, Colby, Sandy, and I moved cities so he could return to school and I could return to the beloved Island.

A few months later as random flurries made way for sunnier and warmer days, the lease was running up once again and I had to decide where I wanted to go next.

A cloud of uncertainty began to form over my next step: See what happens for another year or make a change?

I would comb through each of my options with obsessive attention again and again before giving up, throwing the brush in the air, and leaving an annoying matted mess.

When tragedy struck close to home, the mess disintegrated. It didn’t feel worthy of my energy anymore.

Suddenly, I saw priorities differently. Priorities might not be the right word, but they were something to provide a little direction. It was like someone slammed their hand down on an aimlessly spinning coin. It didn’t really matter what side ended face up, just that it stopped spinning.

After weeks of waffling back and forth, I decided I would move cities again. And, this time, it wouldn’t be just for four months. Once I entered that mindset, all sorts of things seemed to line up with the decision. There are still challenges to deal with, but they don’t seem as daunting.

How do you know it’s time to make a change? If you’re lucky enough to be in a position to even consider consciously make a change, celebrate. Not everyone is.

I don’t think you really know when it’s time. But it starts with an itch. It could be something you can pinpoint or a vague cloud that invades your mind in between the hustle and bustle.

This isn’t to say you should go changing things up at the slightest tickle–let things sink in, bloom, warm up to you for a bit. See where it goes, but know a new season is always around the corner.

You can weigh the pros and cons of each option until your brain goes numb. But, in the end, the universe will adapt to whatever you do.

To a reasonable extent, there’s almost never a right or wrong answer. You make the decision, the decision doesn’t make you.

New season, new me.