“Why are you subjecting yourself to this? Is this really the environment you were made for? … Our adrenal glands can handle only so much before they become exhausted. … Every time you get upset, a little bit of life leaves the body. Are these really the things on which you want to spend that priceless resource? Don’t be afraid to make a change– a big one.” Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic, February 12th
By: Gabriela Yareliz
Why is change so hard? There are a lot of answers to this. I have been nearing a moment of big change for myself and witnessed many friends undergoing big changes, too.
Some of us don’t feel ready. But we are. Some of us aren’t ready, but it’s ready or not, here it comes! Some of us are emotionally attached to places or what they mean to us. We are attached to our work and those who surround us. We are attached to a definition we used to define ourselves. It can be so many things.
In the midst of big change, we are confronted with so many thoughts and fears. Fears from the past that have nothing to do with the circumstance at hand creep up on us. Abandonment is a b*tch. Some of us have carried a lot on our shoulders or felt the need to rescue a place or people from themselves. Whatever it may be– the dynamic is unveiled strongly at departure.
Change is to be altered; to be made different. It’s always different and new, in some way or another.
As a child growing up, I was no stranger to change. Between kindergarten and the end of 8th grade, I attended 7 different schools. I was always in the middle of change. I was thinking of ways to reinvent myself, and what I could take from my past experience. My little magazines/catalogs, my books and my American Girl dolls– my faithful companions.
I was a pro at change, from a very young age. I know how to pack well, and coordinate an address swap with friends who are turning into pen pals, before my departure. I was always the one leaving. Even after a stable high school and undergraduate experience (thanks, ma), I graduated before my high school peers and then set off on my own adventure– law school in NYC, alone.
Change for me has always been a solitary experience. It has been an experience that I have deeply appreciated, and one that has marked me deeply.
Now that I have my own choices to make and change is in my hands, it has been difficult. I try to approach life through a lens of gratitude and godly wisdom. This means I appreciate what I have because I feel so blessed to have it. I also try to minimize change by making a wise choice from the start.
But then, even then, the constant in life, change, always appears. Relationships evolve (as they should– and this is exciting, but change nonetheless), and new opportunities arise.
I am in a period of big change. I think I felt from the get-go that 2020 would be a year of a lot of changes. I welcome those changes. I am excited. I would also be lying if I didn’t say I am scared sh*tless.
Change has always carried a weight of responsibility. It means a level-up, in my book. No matter what it is. And it causes me to confront who I am, and where I want to go. It’s not something I take lightly. People may think it is cheesy, but I approach life with the utmost solemnity.
I am living it once. Every step I take, I see as a step I am taking for all that I want in the future (family and career), to honor the sacrifices of all who came before me (my family and especially my mother), and to add glory to all I have chosen to represent (which is Christ Jesus).
I have felt held in fear and some sadness, recently. There is always a sadness in letting go and a fear in approaching the unknown. What I do know, is that I was trained for this. Not many people have had the hands-on experience I have had with change. I am a cockroach– I adapt. And regardless of the real fears I have, I know that with God by my side there is nothing I can’t do.
I know exactly who I am (solitude does that to you), and anything new just adds to that person.
Life has its pivotal moments where it calls us out into the foggy unknown. It dares us to let go of the great to pursue the extraordinary.
The iconic Audrey Leighton says that “Extraordinary is only born from extraordinary measures.”
Change– my old close friend, we meet again. I was surprised when you knocked at my door, but my hand is on the knob. Even with the fears I carry inside, we are never strangers. You knew I wouldn’t resist.
“Turn and face the strange.” David Bowie