top of page



I am a paradoxical person. I find monotony tedious and draining yet I cling onto it like a lifeline because I am too afraid of change. I hate change but I always try to embrace it at whatever point I encounter it. Monotony bores me but I am ever so slow to instigate any changes in my life. In fact, I avoid change. I eat at the same restaurant every Friday night. I sit on the same table and order the same food each time. I take the same seat in every bus I hop on and would prefer to stand if it is occupied. I hate change. Change scares me. Yet I embrace it because change is necessary. Change is life and life is change. To live is to be willing to evolve and change. Adaptation to change, especially when we are unprepared for it (although I think we are never ready for change), can be very hard. But it is perhaps the only way we experience true growth. I had to find that out the hard way.

My first taste of drastic change was in the form of me coming to Turkey. I had just turned 17 and it’s fair to say that I was never quite prepared for it all. I got onto the plane with a child-like excitement, filled with so much naivety that convinced me that this would pan out the way it did in the movies. You know, the ones where a teenager leaves home to school in another city, reinvents himself, makes a whole bunch of new friends and lives a happy life? That’s what I had anticipated. It was nothing like that. I felt change come with the wind that blew in my face the moment I stepped off the plane. The air smelt different. It felt heavier, denser, and smelt like a mixture of nicotine and oily fast food. The people were different. They did not look as happy as the people at the airport back home did. They all seemed stressed, agitated, as though it were the law of nature to carry your problems on face around here. There were no large families escorting one person to a gate. There wasn’t any loud charter or laughter. It was awfully quiet other than squealing wheels of suitcases dragged in a hurry, hurried footsteps of people trying to catch their planes, and the calm voice from the aircom. It was all too different immediately. Familiarity was lost for me at the airport. And I immediately began to feel a pit of anxiety drill through my abdomen.

The pit of anxiety only seemed to grow deeper each day as the changes came even more rapidly. There was so much adapting to do at the same time, adapting that made me feel small. It was all too much too quickly. I went from having friends around me all the time to not knowing anyone within a 6000km radius, from being expressive and articulate to being silent all the time because I did not know the language. I went from knowing exactly where my life was headed to not even knowing what bus station to get off at. There was new food to be eaten, new people to be met, a new language to be learnt, new places to know, new everything. It sounds now, and it did to me as well before I got here, like an exciting prospect. But it was all too sudden, and I was never adequately equipped to deal with it. I soon found myself buried under piles of change which I was expected to navigate immediately but did not know how to. I was drowning in a sea of change. I was drowning within myself. Anxiety became my new best friend, one that accompanied me everywhere I went.

Even habits, which ought to be a sign of some adaptation, irritated me because they made life feel like a drag, like something I was mandated to do, not something that I willfully did. It was getting harder to drag myself out of bed in the morning and make it through the day. I felt alone. Like I was the only one failing to catch up. I felt as though the world around me had moved on and I was the only one clinging on to the past because my best life was there, because the future held nothing for me. I felt like my own life had moved on without me, like I had been thrown into a whole world which was way too big for me. I felt like the ground on which I had once so firmly planted my feet had been yanked out from underneath me and I was just floating around. I felt lost. I did not know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I felt as though my soul had been ripped out from me and it was out somewhere living the life I should have been living, leaving me to drag around an empty, soulless stack of meat. I felt uncomfortable. And I did not want to be uncomfortable. I did not want to be here. I did not want the change nor was I willing to adapt to it because it took everything I knew, everything I had planned out for my life and left me with nothing. I wanted my old, comfortable, familiar life.

I am not telling you this because I wish to be sympathized with. I am telling you this so that you understand that I, just like you, struggle with change. I am telling you this so that you understand that change is sometimes painful, change will have you so lost, you won’t even remember who you were; that my change, the most vital one that I have ever encountered, was slow, gruesome, daunting, and involved many tearful nights. But it was worth it. Out of it, I grew, I became a man. I saw the world from a larger viewpoint, I outgrew myself, I lost my naivety and began to see the world for what it truly is. I am telling you this so that you understand that even I am still scared of change, and it’s completely okay if you are too; it’s okay if it terrifies you; it’s okay if you even try and avoid it sometimes. What’s not okay is being unwilling to embrace change.

See, we grow by changing. No growth happens in monotony, and we do not live as long as we do not grow. Change is inevitable. It’s one of the few certainties in life. We live in an ever-changing world in which everything lasts but a fleeting moment. Failure to adapt to change, to embrace it, will have you stuck in the past while the rest of the world moves on. And it will definitely move on without you. The cross between monotony and death is that nothing happens in either one. We stop living the moment we do not allow ourselves to evolve, to be uncomfortable for a while, to be different. One of the many paradoxes of being human is that monotony drains the life out of us, yet we are so weary of change. Perhaps it is because monotony provides the false security of certainty while change carries along with it the fear of the unknown. But certainty is a myth that can never be attained, and life is nothing if not a queue of uncertain adventures. Maybe that’s what was meant to make life interesting: not knowing. Maybe that’s where the real adventure lies. Forget certainty. Allow change to happen.

Allow yourself, allow things to be different, to change. Be open-minded to the possibilities. Embrace change always. It may not all be good, but it for sure is necessary. Do not resist it. Embrace it with all your fears and uncertainties. Embrace it with all your doubts and worries. Embrace it at your own pace till you figure it out. And I promise, you will grow from it. If you are afraid, remember that I am too. Hell, all of us are. That's what this life thing is. It's jam-packed with scary uncertainties. And we are all afraid. We just do it despite the fear and figure it out along the way. You can too.

bottom of page