Change is something that is almost inevitable. Death and Taxes . . . and change. Personally, I fight change every day. I like consistency, but no matter how hard I try, change occurs daily.
Change Is Bad
I wanted to start with “change is bad” because I think it’s the most controversial of the headlines below. I innately think change is bad, but maybe it’s not. When someone asks me, “So what’s new?”, I pride myself in saying, “Absolutely nothing!” When I was younger, I felt like I had a lot of answers to that question. EVERYTHING was new. And exciting. But as I get older, not as much seems to change. Or at least it changes slowly . . . almost so slowly that I don’t realize the change until I look back. Then I realized that I was so far from where I was.
When I go out, I like to know what to expect, where I’m going to sit, and even sometimes who my server will be (when going out to more upscale places). I suppose in some way, it’s me trying to grab ahold of the variables in my life and control them. When I was younger, I used to think I was in control of most of my life and not in control of just a few things. The older I get, the more I realize the opposite is true.
But none of this changes the fact that I am innately “change-adverse”. I like things how they are.
Change Is Good
Sometimes, change is good. I think that’s important to keep your life “fresh”. Changing your rituals, keeping yourself on your own toes, and experiencing something new, isn’t bad. In fact, I think a lot of time, we don’t prepare our children for this. AND, our parents didn’t properly prepare US for this.
We spend a lot of time trying to create routines and rituals for our kids. We make sure they nap at the SAME TIME every day. When it comes to feeding, they HAVE to eat at the same time, every day. If they get asked on “play dates” we turn them down because it’s during their scheduled rest time. If we get asked to go out with friends, we say NO, because we don’t want to interrupt our kid’s schedules.
I’m not here to critique anyone’s parenting style, but I’ll say this . . . creating routines for your kids doesn’t necessarily prepare them for life . . . where routines are constantly changing. For Kailyn, if we wanted to go out and eat, we’d bring her. If we wanted to travel, we’d bring her, and if we wanted to go to an event and it was during her nap-time, she slept while she was with us. I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t say for sure, but she’s SUPER well-adjusted to change and circumstances now as a teenager, and I’d bet that’s because she learned to vary her routine.
I think the most practical example of this is that she is an EXPERT when it comes to travel interruptions. She’s traveled so much, she knows what to do if her flight is delayed, changed, canceled or if she’s going to miss a connection. Many of my adult friends struggle here.
The bottom line is, that some change is good in a lot of ways. It keeps us young, thinking, and on our toes. As much as we hate it, I think it’s something we should learn to invite.
Change is Inevitable
One sure thing is that change is inevitable. There’s no avoiding the fact that change is going to occur. Unfortunately for some of us (myself included), this change can be devastating. Divorce, separation, death, loss of friendships, etc.
There’s a lot of me that is jealous of some of my friends. It’s easy to sit back and think, “Man, I’m really jealous of how “easy” their life seems. They seem to have everything go their way and seem to be winning at life”. I think it’s easy to think that others have it better, when in fact, each of them is fighting their own individual battles. I’ve often stated in these blog posts that NOBODY’S pain is the same (see my blog on Pain, titled “When Does The Pain Go Away“). And you shouldn’t compare situations because there’s no way to compare them. And I stand by this.
My point is that change is inevitable, and it’s going to happen. How you deal with it is the question. Keep reading and I’ll get to that part. 🙂
Change is Scary
These next two headlines seem obvious but need to be said. Change is scary. Scary as AF. I think if we take a look back at our lives, there were very few times when we weren’t a bit scared of change. Sure, sometimes change comes with excitement. The easiest example for me was my move to Vegas. I was definitely excited, but really scared too. By the way, I think the fear of change is something that keeps us in check. I’m not sure it’s healthy to welcome change with no fear.
Change is Necessary
Everyone needs to change or evolve. The problem is that I’d bet that many of us are forced to change when we’re not prepared or ready to. Or maybe that’s just how it seems because we tend to remember the harder times before we remember the easy times. It’s kind of like when you buy a blue car, you see blue cars everywhere.
But change IS necessary, whether or not we like it or not. I think this is because the world is in flux. Our relationships, our friendships, etc. are continually evolving, so therefore we must too. We all have that friend that we were besties with at one time, but they didn’t seem to evolve at the same rate as we did, and now they are just an acquaintance. I actually hate this scenario, but am all too familiar with it.
In Real Life
I’ve talked above about change, but wanted to touch on some real-life examples. As I mentioned above, I’ve been fighting change for as long as I can remember. I also know that I’m someone who also accepts and even thrives on change . . . but that’s because I think I know how to manage what’s thrown at me.
Who Was There For You, May Not Be There For You In The Future
One of my favorite humans on the planet posted something on IG the other day that I’m going to steal here. I think it’s one of the most important life lessons we can learn.
I love this for a few reasons. First and most obvious, I’ve been known to like a good party. 🙂 Next, It is SPOT ON. There are those people who have been with you for a long time, and there are others who WILL be with you for a long time. The sooner you become able to identify who is who will determine how much pain you’ll encounter regarding other people.
Unfortunately, family members can also be included in this. I’m in that boat. I hope you’re not. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than finding out a family member is someone who “leaves early”. But people are who they are . . . family or not. Making excuses for them does us no good.
I have been talking a lot with Kailyn about “grey areas”. She’s a typical 1st child and #1 Rule Follower. I love that about her, but sometimes she needs to realize that not everything is black and white. Sometimes there are grey areas. I think it’s easy to put things into black-and-white categories, but much more difficult when they’re grey areas. Actually, I think most of our friendships and relationships fall into this category. Here’s why I say this . . .
There are a handful of people you LOVE. Hopefully, there’s less than a handful of people that you DISPISE. But the remainder of those in your life, are somewhere in the middle. Being able to figure out who are the ones who “leave” is arguably as difficult/important as figuring out who will “stay”. As you get older, I think you gain the ability to identify people better, especially if it’s something that you are focusing your attention on. But I think the sooner you know who’s just there for the “party” (both figuratively and literally), and who’s there for “you”, the sooner you’ll live a happier life.
Happiness is something that everyone is chasing. I think it’s really the ultimate goal in life. Wealth, relatinonships, friendships, etc. all end in happiness. But that doesn’t mean that what makes you happy should be something you chase because as I’ve outlined above, happiness changes too. I think we’d all admit that what makes us happy now, was different a decade ago. Maybe not everything, but some things.
But let me be clear about something here . . . chasing your happiness (past, present, & future) is worth every bit of your energy. There’s not a minute wasted in your life that you shouldn’t be seeking happiness. And in that same vain, allowing yourself to be happy is also another component.
I remember thinking after my divorce, that I HAD my chance to be happy and that was it. The thought of allowing myself to be happy again almost made me feel GUILTY. Imagine that . . . feeling GUILTY about being HAPPY. How F’d up is that? I’ll answer that. Very.
What I’ve grown to learn is that my happiness should not depend on anyone else. But similarly, my lack of happiness shouldn’t either. Once you figure out what makes you happy, you should pursue that happiness regardless of what others think, as long as your quest for happiness doesn’t hurt anyone else (because that’s called narcissistic sociopathic behavior). But you need to allow yourself to be happy, and that’s exactly what I’ve been working on since I got divorced. Allowing myself to be happy, free, and independent . . . even while taking other feelings into consideration.
Changing On Purpose
I’ll leave you with this last thought on CHANGE. Often we change so slightly that we don’t realize that it’s happening. It’s like my “ship in the ocean” analogy that I’ve used in the past. If a ship on the ocean makes 1/10th of a degree of change every day on its journey across the sea, it will end up hundreds of miles away from its original destination. Little changes, yield big results over time or distance.
These little changes tend to happen when you’re working on personal growth. BUT, there’s some transformative change that occurs when you say FUCK IT, and make a mental shift to do what you know is right for you. This purposeful change is many of the above changes I talked about, Good, Inevitable, Scary, necessary, etc.
If there are a few things I hope you take away from this blog, is something I learned over 10 years of working on myself.
- No matter what you did, what you’ve done, or what you continue to do, it’s okay. I promise you, it’s ok. You’re ok. It’ll all be ok.
- When you think you’re not strong enough, I promise you, you are.
- You’ll find people who enter your life at the right time. Keep your eyes open, your ears open, and your heart open. They get you. They love you. They’re there for you. These people are the “clean up” crew of your party.
- You have every right to feel the way you do. Hurt, happy, sad, whatever. Find your “true north” so that you know what direction you need to be heading. Not knowing is when you feel lost.
- Sometimes people say and do things that are hurtful. It’s because they don’t know better. You know better. Keep your focus and don’t let others become a distraction. Your “inner circle” should be building you up, not distracting you. A strong you = a strong us. Anyone who thinks that knocking you down is the way to build themselves up can go get F’d.
- Don’t be afraid to love or trust again. This was/is hard for me. Don’t let the people who took your love/trust for granted, ruin it for the future people in your life. They deserve your love and trust arguably more than the person/people you first instilled it in. Don’t let what is the best part of you be stolen by those who didn’t deserve it.
Thanks for letting me talk about change. It’s something I battle often and something that I see those I love battling. Keep your chin up and keep moving forward. Every day. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be a better version of yourself every day moving forward. And if someone or something is keeping you from that, draw your boundaries and move on.
Thanks for reading,