By Ashley Williams
Change. The unwanted product of time. Because time is infinite and ongoing, change is inevitable. As humans, we are displeased with time. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and someone a long time ago decided that we only needed 24. Yet, the sun comes up and goes down and that is how we know that it’s time to move on. That is how we know time is continuous. Despite our dislike, we only have so much time. So we’ve learned to adjust and adapted to the limited time.
However, change? No one ever said anything about the change. Why can’t things just stay the same? Why do they have to change? So we find every reason to fight change, even when it’s good for us. We don’t want to get older, we don’t want to move, and we even don’t want to meet new people. So why do we hate change so much? Personally, I have a hard time letting the people in my life go. Within the next 3 weeks, my current roommates will be moving out, and I will have 2 new people moving in. This scares the crap out of me. I have grown so close to my roommates. They have shown me endless love and support. If I’m completely honest, I don’t want them to leave because I am afraid they will forget me. For me, this is part separation anxiety, but also mostly just my fear of change. I’m realizing now that those feelings might be selfish. I have to let my roommates move on and grow.
If you’re like me and hate change, you’re not alone. Our resistance to change has been studied for decades. Now, there is something out there called change management. Change management is the process of helping individuals and groups move from their current state to a future state. Change is mostly associated with feelings of loss and grief. I don’t want my roommates to move because I do not want to lose them. I know for me, there will be a period of grief. I also know that these feelings won’t last forever. Even though my roommates are moving on, so will I. In 6 months I will be officially done with graduate school and starting my career. My life will be drastically different in 6 months and that’s okay. I’ve busted my ass to get to this point.
Change is hard, but it’s not impossible. Change is scary, but it’s necessary. Challenge yourself to dig deep and reflect on why you may be so resistant to change. Meditate on the positives and negatives of these changes. I think what helps, and what has especially helped me as we get closer and closer to our move out date, is positive self-talk. I remind myself of all the things going around me that are going well. For example, one positive thing is working full-time as a community organizer this summer. My work team is great, and they will help to provide some consistency through all of the change going on. I also remind myself of the importance of this change. One of my roommates is moving back home to be a school social worker. Another is transitioning to the next stage in her life and living on her own. I am so proud of them and reflecting on their accomplishments eases the anxiety for me. Despite my biggest fears, they aren’t going to forget me. They love me. It also helps to know that they are scared too. But nevertheless, these changes have to happen. And I am okay with that.
Ashley Williams is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.