An Open Letter to Change

Like me, many people don’t necessarily enjoy change. We're accustomed to a routine, a pattern or a cycle, and as monotonous as that sounds, that keeps us grounded. A year and three months ago, I made a decision that would change my routine forever.

In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria hit my hometown of Puerto Rico. This had a massive impact on the Island, and many areas were left vulnerable. For months, counties and cities were without power, water or supplies to live easily. In my case, I was out of power for two months and had to resort to “old school” ways to eat, entertain and make time pass faster. My means to go back to school were extremely limited and I, unfortunately, had to drop out. This decision was extremely hard because school is a great part of my life and my career development. Dropping out meant changing my routine, and not for the better.

This directed me to a full-time job and an application to the University of Central Florida. You know how sometimes, you online shop and kind of forget about the order until it arrives? The same thing occurred to me with my acceptance letter. From the storm to the tranquility, I returned to the sensation of uneasiness one gets when big decisions need to be made. And in less than three weeks, I made the biggest change in my life.  

SJU to MCO

Moving from Puerto Rico to Orlando was stressful, tiring and very nerve-wracking. I had only been to the United States once on a visit and now I had come to start my life over. The thought of storing my life in a few boxes created an anxiety in me that was so unbearable, it got to a point where it was hard to breathe. I would have talks with my mother over and over about my decision, about our separation and about this new journey I was going to face. Alone.

There were many moments where I thought of pulling the plug and canceling the entire thing. But with so much energy and money that had been spent, I couldn't back down. For once in my life, I stared at change and said:

"I am bigger than you, stronger than you and mightier than you. You might hold me down at times, control me at times, but today is different. From now on, I will embrace you."

And I did. 

And I still do. 

I'm now in a relationship with change (it's complicated)

I'm not saying I got fully used to having change in my life, but it's made it quite interesting—especially living in Orlando. It has led me to make great friends, great connections and unforgettable moments. It has helped with my development, as a professional and as a person. 

There are still times where sticking in my comfort zone seems like the best way to go, but trusting my gut always leads to a fun, learning experience. I might even dare to say I would not be who I am today if I had stayed back in Puerto Rico.

If you or anyone is going through a rough patch and making a decision that will lead to change or the alteration of your created norm, just know you aren't making the decision alone. And you aren't going through it alone. There will always be a rainbow after every storm and one should always remember this when facing life-changing moments.

And to change, thank you. Thank you for the push, for the assertiveness, for the braveness. Thank you for the daily challenges, discussions and reminders of how great my life is now.

With love, 

Victor

Images: 1, 2