I used to loathe change. I feared it and refused to accept it, and that only made life harder for me. Letting go has never been a strong suit of mine, as I’ve always preferred to look back at what I perceived to be happier times through rose-tinted glasses.
Recently, I’ve started to welcome change, and I’ve been making a conscious effort to live in the moment and reminisce a little less. I don’t believe that change is inherently a positive thing. I believe that change can force growth, which can ultimately be good, but that doesn’t mean it’s always great.
When I moved to Florida in the middle of my high school career, my entire life felt like it was falling apart. I was not ready for a change of that magnitude, and my frustration led to self-destruction and severe denial. I regretted my decision to move for years, but I don’t think I do anymore. The struggles that were born as a result of my move helped me build emotional strength. I realized that if I had stayed stagnant and had never been pushed out of my cozy town I probably would not have the courage to do some of the things I have. After being a volatile human sack of vile words and explosive emotions for years, I finally realized, hey, maybe life isn’t out to get me after all.
I can’t imagine how different I would be if I was still smothered in comfort and familiarity. Would I still have the drive and the desire to travel? Would I be applying to work overseas or taking steps towards getting a journalism degree? It’s impossible to know, and it’s not productive to waste time playing the “what if” game. All I know in this moment is that I am proud of the person I am becoming and all that I have had to get through to get to this point.
Change is scary, but stagnation is deadly. Push yourself to book that flight, or rent that apartment, or apply to that school/job you don’t think you have the qualifications for. Take the opportunities in front of you that might be hard, and chase your definition of happiness even if it means you have to leave everything behind. Moving forward is difficult, and hardly ever easy. You don’t have to move across the country to embrace change, but respect your potential enough to realize that a change may be necessary.