When you’re an old dog, learning new tricks can be daunting. I like to think of myself as someone who is open-minded, likes a challenge, loves adventure, is willing to try new things and embrace change. But truth be told, I like a little routine now and again. There’s something comforting in those ‘old tricks’ that I have mastered. Still change is inevitable.
So I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone and I have to say that it’s been fun and invigorating (even if it’s a bit scary at times – The Autobahn at 120 miles per hour). And it turns out that you’re never really too old to learn something new. My new job responsibilities have brought me to England and I will be working extensively throughout all of Europe. It’s strange being ‘the foreigner’ but I believe this experience will enable me to become more tolerant of others and gain a global perspective of human rights. But before I achieve those lofty goals I will need to learn to drive on the left side of the road in a car with the steering wheel on the right and understand the difference between a lorry and a lift! At times I feel I’m better understood in Germany or Spain than in England. At least in Deutschland or Espana I’m not expected to understand what’s being said to me. Bullocks!
Today I met a with an Indian who lives in Dubai and has businesses in Turkey, India, China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. We were discussing global partnerships and emerging markets in Uzbekistan and at some point my mind wanders and I begin to think, “I wonder how the St. Louis Cardinals will do tonight?” And I wonder how Anna will do at preschool today, and if is Deb packed yet for her trip over here? So I silently scream at myself, “Focus, Denis!” “Focus.”
But that’s whole point isn’t it? Things change but we remain the same. We might live in new places and learn new things and meet new people but we are who we are. That doesn’t mean that I won’t stretch myself a little and embrace new ideas and new ways of doing things but fundamentally I am who I am. My heart, my soul is grounded in the love of my family and friends. My faith remains in God, my Creator and Redeemer. I am the same husband, father, son, brother and friend today that I was yesterday and will be tomorrow. I may gain some new insights along this journey and meet some new friends but my true self remains unchanged.
And that’s the beauty of change – change of jobs, of scenery, of locales, of time zones. It only makes us truer to ourselves. Even on the days of uncertainty and new discovery I know where I belong – in the hearts of those that love me. And that never changes!