Not the same girl

Changes can stretch you and make you feel incredibly lonely but they serve to show you a perspective you’ve never seen before.

September 2013

My name is Cristina Delgado. I am single. I live on 23rd St and 1st Ave in the Hunter College dorms. I attend a small Pentecostal church where my parents worship in East Harlem.  I am very close to my friends from college. I am taking classes full time and working part-time at a dental office on the Upper East Side. I am currently working on my application to the Peace Corps due in November to work in community development. Marriage is nowhere on my radar.

September 2014

My name is Cristina Mineo. I am newly married.  I’ve never shared a room with a guy. I am very much in love my new husband! I live in Washington Heights, but I’m not Dominican. I am a private person but my husband is a public figure. The West Side is foreign to me; this is where the creatives live, yet I am not a creative. My church is Christ Crucified Fellowship, a pseudo Presbyterian-Southern-Baptist-with-a-sprinkle-of-charisma-every-now-and-then church. My introverted tendencies make connecting with new people difficult.  Because of distance, visits from college friends have become rare. I’ve quit my job and miss making my own money.  I’ve decided to take a break from school to hop on a rap tour. I’m the only girl on a tour bus of 12 men. Meanwhile, I’m trying to adjust to new family dynamics. What place do my parents and sister take in my life now? How often will I see them?

September 2015

My name is Cristina Mineo. I’ve grown into my new name. I still adore my husband. I see things in him that I never knew I wanted or needed. My priorities have been reordered and I hold a new outlook on work, art and humor. I just graduated with my Bachelors degree. I’m not sure what job I will get or what I want to study for my Masters degree, but I’m just fine with that. My faith has grown to give me peace in uncomfortable places and to know, not just try to convince myself, that God is my Provider, Healer, and ultimate Love. I have a great relationship with my parents, sister and my new in-law family.

Marriage was an exciting change that happened quickly. Though still in honeymoon bliss, at times, I experience heartache for the things lost or changed from the life I became so accustomed to before marriage. Changes can stretch you and make you feel incredibly lonely but they serve to show you a perspective you’ve never seen before. It’s not easy to move to a new city, start a new job, go back to school, lose a loved one or become a new parent. I'm not here to tell you I found all the answers but to encourage you and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. Here are some postures I found helpful during my transition.

Welcome others in

Make friends with people who can relate to your situation.

Mourn but don't linger

Give yourself time to mourn the things of the past - but don’t linger. Cry when you need to. The people closest to you can help you determine when it’s been too long.

Be honest

Be honest with yourself about how you are feeling and communicate it to those closest to you with gentleness and love.

Allow time to process

To go through major transitions without processing your feelings and emotions can cause displaced anger and resentment toward your new situation.

Be open to change

Be open to letting yourself be changed. New situations and experiences challenge the existing ideas we have about the world. This is a great thing! 

The beauty found in hard times is in knowing the Lord is with you. He sees you, and He is sovereign.  A mentor of mine reminded me that the value of a struggle is not just what is produced in you, but experiencing the presence of the Father in your situation.

Some transitions are painful and some are joyous, some are both. Some changes are planned while others are not. Despite what we feel about changes, they are an essential part of life. I’ve learned that faith, support from friends, and an attitude of perseverance can help grow you in times of transition instead of bury you. I am still adjusting.