Changed for good?

Can we talk for a few minutes about something I sometimes really don’t like?  Okay, good.

I don’t like change.  Little change or big change.  Getting a haircut is hard for me.  Moving to college is hard for me.  Having 2 little brothers who are almost old enough to date and drive is hard for me.  Change is hard.  No matter how much I try to anticipate what will happen in the next big change, I am always caught off guard. Always.

Change stresses me out. Sometimes it freaks me out.  There are just so many things that can come from the consequences of one little change. One little thing could affect the whole rest of the things.  Embracing change is a big decision for me.

You know why I don’t like change? Because it’s always bittersweet.   Changing is just losing something and hoping you’ll get something better or at least equal to it.  And sometimes, that just doesn’t happen.   Sometimes you get something way worse.

Someone once said, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”  So, for example, while I missed my brothers growing 12 feet this summer, I got to experience London.  Did I miss that? Yes. But was London worth it? DEFINITELY.  That’s the thing about change. In hindsight, I can usually see that it was good and try to accept it.  But when it’s happening, I stink at seeing what good it could possibly be.

Deep down, I know that change is good.  I’m reminded of that a gazillion times every day.  I mean, what if the weather didn’t change?  Or the seasons?  Or what if I ate the same food for dinner every night?  Life would be SO boring.  If language didn’t change it would just die right on out. Life would be pointless without change.

Here’s part of the dilemma : I know I’ve changed at least a little bit since going to college, and even since going to London (at least, that’s what I think/hope.)  And I like those changes.  I like the me that I am.  But you know what I don’t like about those changes? The way it’s changed the friendships I had with people before school.  I mean, everyone changes. But, when you’re not changing together, the differences become way more noticeable. This is hard to accept sometimes.  Especially if you’re trying to return to a nostalgic time that doesn’t exist anymore because of all the changes going on with everyone and everything.  It’s just not fun.

While I was in London, I thought a lot about change. Before I left, someone told me I would grow up a little bit while I was there.  I wondered if this was true, and if I was changing;  I wondered how things back home were changing, and I wondered if the reality back home and the reality in London would be able to mesh.   Turns out a lot of stuff can change in 6 weeks.  For the better and for the worse.  Little brothers get bigger.  Personalities get stronger.  And hard things happen.   While I didn’t expect things to be the same when I got back to Utah, I didn’t know what to expect at all. And the reality that confronted me when I got back was a reality that I never could have even imagined.

While we were in London, (well, York actually) some of us talked about if we felt like we had changed.  Consensually, we decided we had changed for the better.  Instead of being caterpillars, we were butterflies. We were going to go out there and face the world. We were free. Beautiful. Transformed. And we could see the world from a new perspective. (Or at least that’s what we decided in our idyllic imaginings.)  I like that change.  But sometimes it hurt while it was taking place. I mean, living with the same 21 girls in such close quarters 24/7 can be great for relationships and personality development. But it can be terrible too.   But at the same time, I was changed for the better by the girls I lived with for those weeks.  (just like these people.) And I love that about myself and the experience. I did grow up a little bit.  And it was even kind of fun.

Yesterday while I was thinking about this at work, I found this awesome (ish) quote:  “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. “(Anonymous)

And I guess it’s right on.  Even though I don’t like it to be the ESSENCE, it is. I mean, what would life be if we all just stayed the same all the time?  Never growing, never progressing.  Never getting to be super exciting.

And if we never changed, we’d never have anything to look forward to.  I love being able to just daydream all the live-long day about what will happen to me in the next 10 years.  If I didn’t have that stability of knowing that change was coming, I would be bored a lot of the time.

Life is so great, so unpredictable, so changing.  Just when you comfortable, something flips, and leaves you spinning.  That’s why Pocahontas loves rivers so much, “the water’s always changing, always flowing” (IT’S BEEN STUCK IN MY HEAD FOR WEEKS, SORRY.)  When you think about change like that, it sounds more like a grand adventure! And who doesn’t love good adventure?

So, I’ve been thinking about embracing some changes in my life. Some that have gradually crept in and some that I have just decided on. None of them are life-shattering, but all of them are life-changing, because really, what change isn’t life-changing?  I’m nervous to make the changes, because new things are scary. But in the end, I definitely think they’ll be worth it.

So, change is good.   It makes life fresh and exciting and different and new.

So, that’s a good thing, right?  Yes, I think it is. Well, at least sometimes.

(P.S. I hate it when I start out hating on something and end up talking myself into thinking that maybe it’s a good idea. )

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