Lately there have been quite a lot of changes going on – I’ve finished an 18-month traineeship, I’m moving houses to move in with my partner and I’m trying to make decisions about my gender transition. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over this past year is that I don’t deal well with changes. When the seasons change, I struggle to adjust. I struggle when I change jobs, move house or have a change in routine.
Yesterday I was packing up to move my stuff from my apartment to my partner’s house temporarily until we move into our new house together in January. Stripping my apartment of all my possessions, where I have lived for 18 months by myself, was quite stressful for me. I had to take myself to one side and give myself a good talking to. I had to remind myself that home is inside myself and not in the physical place where I live, and that I can take it with me wherever I go.
I’ve moved a lot in the past. I’d lived in 3 countries and 5 houses by the age of 11. I had attended 3 different primary schools and had made and lost touch with so many friends over those years that I don’t have any “childhood friends” to speak of. This pattern repeated itself when I went to college/university. Since 2009, I have lived in 12 different houses in 4 countries. And now I’m about to move house again. You would think I’d be used to it by now, but each time its hard.
I’ve had as many different jobs as I have had houses over the years. Once again, I’m facing into finding a new job. And it’s getting tiring. I had a brief respite over the past 18 months because I was guaranteed a job with the training scheme, even if it meant moving jobs every 4 months. In fact, I’ve had 5 different jobs over the last year and a half. When I put it like that, it seems mad! But I work in the TV and film industry, so it’s not as unusual for this industry.
I’ve always had this driving force behind me that’s pushed me onwards to try and find the “right” job for me, the “right” place to live, the “right” life to live, the “right” person to date. It’s ironic really, because I’ve always found change to be difficult to deal with, and the driving force led me to making multiple changes many times over. As I struggled during this past year and a half, I’ve had to try a lot of new things. Trying to stick at this training scheme (I have a terrible habit of quitting halfway through things and moving onto the next exciting thing entirely unrelated to the last exciting thing), trying to sort my head out, trying to quit alcohol, smoking and drugs, and trying to figure out what I want with my life. There’s a lot of trying in there, but I had to try or I’d never even have a chance of succeeding.
In the past I’ve used alcohol as a social lubricant and to help me to forget my present circumstances. I’ve used drugs to make my life seem better, and also because I cared so little about my own life and the people around me that anything that hit the self-destruct button served the purpose. I smoked out of habit and to relax me – now I use deep breathing techniques that mimic the way I used to inhale cigarettes deeply, and it works just as well if not better.
The driving force that used to spur me onwards despite everything, has left me. I don’t know if this is a side-effect of my antidepressants, or if it’s as a result of my gender exploration, but there has been something about trying to figure myself out that has slowed down the driving force that used to keep pushing me towards change. With it has come calmness but also an inability to care overly about what job I have or whether or not I get one. My gender exploration has become all encompassing and it chokes my desire for other things that I usually care a lot about.
The combination of all these changes has placed a lot of stress on me, and I’ve found my “reformed ways” – eating healthily, sleeping well, exercising regularly – falling to the wayside. I’ve realised that not only do I not deal well with change, I also don’t cope well without a routine to follow – which could be categorised as not dealing well with change! As I’m currently unemployed, my free time (all the time) is filled with useless thoughts of what I might or could do, rather than any sort of action to make things happen. It’s frustrating for my partner, it’s frustrating for me, and I haven’t figured out a way around it yet. I’m trying some self-motivation, part of which is writing this blog, so hopefully things with start looking up for me again. On the whole, life is good. I just need to start making the most of it! Changes eh?!