It is a pretty well-known fact that life changes. As much as we may try, life does not stay the same forever. It may remain fairly consistent for a time, but all of us will experience change at different points in our lives.
Being a military kid, I grew up experiencing big changes every couple of years. When we moved to a new location, it was new house, new school, new church, new friends, etc. I’d get comfortable after a year and then the next year or the year after that, we’d move again and the whole thing would start all over. I’ll be honest, there were definitely times when it was tough. Moving right before my eighth grade year to a new place for only a year and going to a school where all the kids had known each other since preschool? Let’s just say I would not like to repeat that experience.
Each time we moved, I could have taken one of two approaches to it. One, I could have resisted the new situation. However, that wouldn’t have made anybody happy. I wouldn’t have been willing to open myself to something new and potentially meeting some great people and having experiences I never could have dreamed about. I would have been so focused on what I had, not looking forward to what I could gain. So, I decided to go with option two and keep moving forward, seeing what I could learn and gain from the new situation.
I’m not saying it was easy; there were many times that I wished I was back in the old location or at my old school. But with each new place we moved, I learned so much. The move before eighth grade? With being the new student, a lot of folks were standoffish, so I didn’t make a ton of friends. But it helped me to learn not to care so much what others thought of me. I knew I would only be in that school for a year, so I decided to just be myself. If they didn’t like it, I was gone the next year anyway! So I embraced the opportunity to learn not care so much about the thoughts of others. And, even though I didn’t get really close with anyone, I ended up getting along with pretty much everyone in my class.
I know change is scary; it’s tough jumping into the unknown. It’s tough not knowing what could happen and imagining all the ‘what if’s’ for things that could go wrong. But resisting change only makes things more difficult in the end. Focusing on the past keeps us stuck there, longing for something that we can never have again. If we look forward to change not with anxiety, but with a sense of wonder at the thought of how much we can experience and gain, we could open ourselves up to situations beyond our wildest dreams.
What new situations have you been faced with recently and how did you approach them?