Change, big or small, has always been difficult for me. Whether it was my parents buying a new couch, or moving to a new town, I probably cried over it (and demanded things stay the same). But, that’s not how life works apparently. I’ve only (in the last year) recently realized how much new changes in my life affected me on an emotional level.
This past year, I moved to NYC with admittedly no real set life plan. It was the most challenging thing I’ve done to date. But, when I set my mind to something, I find a way to make it happen. Between a new apartment, moving in with my boyfriend, getting used to NYC in general, and finding my place, it has been a whirlwind of changes for the last year and a half.
That being said, seeing as I don’t take to change very easily, there has also been an intense flow of emotions happening during this time. Happy, angry, a little depressed, confused, excited-I’ve felt it all. However, what I’ve realized through every season, every emotion, and every new thing that’s happened (good or bad), is that it’s all about how to deal with whatever change is brought your way.
Sure, initially you may feel extremely nervous, scared, angry, or excited. You may shed a few tears (or a lot in my case), but it’s what comes after those initial feelings that matters.
How do you handle the new cards you’ve been dealt?
If you shut down and choose not to accept this new phase in your life as your reality, then you’re asking for more negative shit to pile on. However, if you take it and run with it (no matter how good or bad it is), then you’re only asking for positive solutions to open up or even better opportunities to come your way. Because let’s be real, not all change is bad change.
This past summer I decided to sell my car. It was sitting in my parent’s garage, not being used at all, and having the money from it in my pocket was definitely not going to hurt. That being said, when the day finally came that a sweet college student from my town bought it on the spot, I cried like a baby. That car was more than just a white Ford Focus Wagon. It was the car that put me through the end of high school, stuck with me all through college, drove me to my new apartment and job in Boston, carted my friends to a bunch of fun trips, it was a place where I could be alone to think, where I could let my dog Buddy hop in the front seat for a quick car ride. It was a box with four wheels that held an infinite amount of memories.
So I cried, and had a ping of regret, and maybe wished that girl wouldn’t actually buy it. But then I realized that she was going to make those same memories driving to and from school every day, taking the burden off of her parents, and that I honestly did not need it (and okay so the money definitely did not hurt either).
My point is, these extreme changes are going to occur. Day after day, month after month, year after year. But it’s all about what we learn from them, the things we can take away, and the choice we make to get up every day and make our lives better.
Of course I still think about my car, or that time I felt like a failure, or the money I wished I had saved instead of spent, or how scared I felt driving with our U-Haul into the city. But, I also think about and really focus on all of the growing up I’ve done because of all of the changes that have occurred in my short 24 years. Bad or good, I’ve taken SOMETHING away from it. And as fall turns into winter, I know there will be even more life changes to come. No matter how exciting or how terrifying, everything will be okay. Remember that the next time you’re faced with a ‘holy shit I don’t know if I can handle this life altering situation’ or a ‘I’m really nervous about this amazing thing that just happened’. Because no matter who you are, you’re strong enough to handle whatever life throws at you.