The Fear of Change and How We Learn to Embrace it

June 3, 2019

I remember driving through my town to work one morning and seeing a sign from a business. It read, “Exciting New Changes Are Happening Soon!” I remember reading those words and immediately wanting to drive faster. Enough to get away and never have to see it again. But I soon realized I would always have to see it as long as it was up there. And then it got me thinking.

 

 Photo: Adri Tormo on Unsplash 

 

That’s exactly what change is like. It’s this ongoing feeling of knowing that no matter how much you may want to stay where you are in life, you can’t. You can’t just hit pause and save a moment just because you don’t think there’s ever going to be anything that can be better than itt; you have to keep pushing forward.

 

I’m a hypocrite for saying this, because yes, it’s easier said than done. Anyone can tell you that a little change can be a good thing. But what happens when you’re faced with so much change in  a short amount of time? How exactly are you supposed to handle that and face it in a healthy way?

 

To say I’ve gone through my fair share of change in the last year would be a complete understatement. I’ve had times where I felt so confident and content with what was happening in my life even when it wasn’t under my control. And I’ve also had many times--more than I’m willing to admit--where I felt like I was having a rug being pulled from out under me. Whether it was starting grad school and now being almost halfway done with it, having my mom move out and be an hour away from me while living with her new fiance and his daughter, moving in with my grandma because living with your brother and his girlfriend can be complicated and getting my heart broken to a point where I didn’t think I would ever find every single shard that broke inside me. I’ve endured a lot of change, and that’s only in the last nine months.

 

I’m the type of person who always needs to have a plan. I used to have this vision in my head of the way my life would turn out. It would even be down to the age where I would want to get engaged, get married and have kids. I pushed and told myself that this was exactly how my life would turn out. I would go to college, then grad school, in between that get my “dream” job, find the love of my life, and then everything would come together. But let me tell you this: my life is not turning out that way, and I’m okay with it.

 

I’m okay with not knowing how my life is going to turn out because now that means I get to enjoy it. I no longer have to put so much pressure on myself to be this image of someone that I could never achieve. A person I built in my head for most of my life is now just a figment of my imagination.

 

Even if there are bad days or events that I have no control over, I think about everything I have. I have great support from friends and family who see me for the person I am and am slowly becoming. I have something I’m passionate about and I’m working hard to make it a living. I have someone new in my life who has made me believe that second chances for love are possible.

 

My life is not perfect,; it is far from it. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned when dealing with change, it is that no matter what life is worth it.

 

So the next time I see that sign I won’t drive any faster away from it.

 

Kirstie Devine is 24 years old and is working towards her MFA in creative writing at Western New England University. She is most likely writing, reading a book, at a concert, laughing, petting a dog, or eating french fries. She hopes one day to write a book and have it be in the library in her town.

 

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