I moved to Mexico two weeks ago.
Hearing that might make you furious, curious, or frightened. You may think that it’s ridiculous that I left my house, got on a plane, and changed countries during this crazy time.
It wasn’t easy making the decision to move now. Once the pandemic hit, plans that I had made shifted to the side and fear set in instead. What would it be like to leave a stable job during this time of economic proto-collapse? What would it be like to move, given that international borders were closed? What if I got sick, or got someone else sick?
Those are some weighty questions. It’s a weighty time.
Emotions are running hot right now, with the entire world facing a mental health crisis as people are pushed far outside of their comfort zones by COVID-19. Moreover, in the weeks since I’ve moved, the United States has erupted in protests over the murder of George Floyd and systematic racial injustice. It is a challenging time for so many of us.
How can we find clarity and stay grounded even amidst those challenges?
What I’ve observed, if it’s of any help to you, is that anticipation and contemplation can add to the stress coming from whatever challenges are being heaped on us by the outside world. Often, contemplation over substantive decisions can prevent us from making decisions at all. We remain stuck in “analysis paralysis,” held in a state of inaction by our indecision. For me at least, that place of feeling stuck is terrible. It’s disempowering. It creates a great amount of stress.
What I find is that taking action can relieve stress - even if the action you take represents a poor choice.
Metaphorically, once you open a door, other doors tend to open in front of you. Even if you open a door and fall over a precipice, you may discover you’re wearing a backpack with a parachute. Too often, instead, we sit and stare at the door, looking at every angle of the doorknob to attempt to best figure out how to approach opening it. And perhaps, because we’re looking for the “best” way to open the door, we never do. By taking action and opening a door, we open up new opportunities. Those new opportunities can release the weight you may be carrying from your doorknob-staring.
How do we move forward amidst uncertainty?
For me, the number of nights that I lost sleep over *whether* I should go to Mexico far outweighed the stress of the trip itself. I’m not saying my move was without risk. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t all be cautious and careful right now. And I’m in no way saying that the stress carried by those who are racially discriminated against is solely due to anticipation and contemplation - these stressors add burdens on top of a system filled with prejudice that creates real, tangible danger for Black Americans.
We don’t always have power to change the circumstances around us. But we do have the power to choose how we act and to choose our perspective.
What I’d ask you to consider, then, is:
I’m overwhelmingly excited about having moved here to Mexico. I’m glad I decided to lean into discomfort and cognizant of the fact that the perceived discomfort was far greater than any that I experienced.
What about you? Please feel free to comment and further the discussion here, since I know my perspective is just one of many and I want to hear from you.
I'm writing this blog to share my perspective on career transitions, time management, and personal growth.