By Mari-An Santos

Change excites and terrifies. I don’t think anyone who encounters change feels just one or the other; they seem to go hand in hand.

I am due for a change myself. A change that will once again test whether I am a wallflower or an adventurer, whether I will take courage or recoil, whether I am to step outside of everything familiar and comfortable.

I am excited to experience this change. It will involve the unfamiliar, the unexplored, and the unknown. This always sends shivers down my spine, but it also makes my stomach overflow with butterflies.

Faced with either moving forward or standing still, it’s easier to keep still. Being creatures of habit, human beings like surrounding themselves with things familiar. Besides we like being in charge, as if we are ever really, truly in charge of our own lives.

The traveler in me is excited. I want to explore the unknown, to soak up experiences, and to get as much new knowledge as I can.

There is also that small part of me—and I feel guilty that it’s just a tiny part—that feels sad. Of course, there will be people and places that I will need to leave behind. And surely, I will miss them.

I will miss how the tiny birds outside my window wake me up with their tiny chirps. I will miss the sight of the mountain breeze as it sweeps the bamboo groves. I will miss the colors of the horizon as the sun creeps down to sleep. I will miss the pregnant moon in the dark, clear sky.

I will miss all of these and more, but I will not say goodbye. This change is not permanent. And when I am thrust once again to the familiar, there will be a beautiful reunion for sure.