So, I have this thing that I hate to admit (which is why I’m going to post about it on the world wide web):

I hate change.

As far back as I can remember, change makes me uncomfortable, anxious, and causes all sorts of icky feelings. I tend to avoid big, life-altering change whenever possible. One of the many reasons I was drawn to the YAGM program was that it would force me to confront this unfortunate personality quirk: you can’t avoid big, life-altering change when you move across the globe.

I left Arizona in August fully aware that I would be making big, life-altering changes, and that they would probably make me uncomfortable, anxious, and generally icky. However, I left with this crazy assumption that I would make big changes once and then my life would return to being quite stable and uneventful. I assumed that I would arrive in Cape Town in early September, move in and unpack somewhere, start at a placement site, and settle in to a new life in a new country.

Well… as it turns out, that is quite simply not the trajectory of my YAGM year.

I did move to Cape Town in early September, and have moved another two times since. You might remember back in October I mentioned moving in with a host family and starting at a few different placement sites. As of this past week, I moved again, and I will soon be starting to spend my days at new-to-me community organizations.

In essence, I’m going through another set of big, life-altering changes.

There are definitely downsides to my recent move: I miss living near the ocean, I miss my co-workers, and I sincerely miss my host family. It is a bummer that I will miss seeing my host siblings on their first day of school next week.

I am so tempted to sit and stew in all the icky feelings change tends to cause me to feel.

But if there is one habit I’ve picked up in the last four months, it is finding the silver lining and focusing on the bright side. Which means that instead of thinking about how much I miss Muizenberg, I am spending my time in hopeful anticipation of the next six months in Bellville.

I now live in Huis Erich Leistner, which in essence is a church-owned and church-run youth hostel for college students. This means I will get to live among people committed to a higher education. That, alone, is something to be excited about. I will also get to start at new “jobs,” which means I will get to expand my breadth of understanding of this diverse nation. I will be attending a different church, which affords the possibility for new relationships and experiences.

I get to challenge myself in new ways, delve deeper into a new community, and continue to stretch out my comfort zone. I get to form and build new relationships while strengthening those I have already made throughout this sprawling metropolis. Most importantly, I get to continue my journey in Cape Town, even if I never quite know where it will lead. 

I may never love change, but this time around, I’m trying to embrace it for the possibilities it has to offer.


 Just for fun, below is a map of Cape Town. The “A” is Cape Town City Center- home to the Cape Town Stadium, the V&A Waterfront, and tourists galore. The first arrow goes to Athlone, where I stayed in September and October. I then moved to Muizenberg, where the next arrow points. This week, I moved to Bellville, where the last arrow is pointing. All are technically a part of the City of Cape Town.