By: Daniella Aryeh, Guest BloggerNovember 25, 2015
Image via geoffmcdonald.com
Imagine that right before you drove home from school or work, someone told you that all of the old traffic laws had changed forever: Red no longer meant stop and green no longer meant go. In fact, all of the signs that used to guide you were no longer valid. The old laws were gone, but the new laws were yet to be written. How would you feel and what would you think as you set out for home?This may be a silly example, but hopefully you get my point.
Change is hard. Often, change is sudden; it’s quick and it disrupts our equilibrium. Whether it’s moving to a new neighborhood, changing schools, starting a new job, maybe losing a job, or the unexpected loss of a loved one, the world you once knew is gone, and it’s difficult to know what to do next. It’s frightening, because one way we survive is by being able to predict our environment and acting accordingly. When predictability disappears, so too does our sense of safety. In this way, change can trigger our most basic survival instincts, and even when physical survival is not an issue, it can feel as if it is whenever things change.
This is why change is so difficult: Our known existence, whether we like it or not, is replaced by an unknown one. We become fearful and disoriented, not knowing where to turn next to find the comfort and safety we seek. I recently graduated from graduate school in NY, moved out of my parents’ house for the first time, and began my first job as a speech therapist in two different schools. Now, not only do I have to plan appropriate sessions for my clients and schedule them, I have to upkeep my own apartment, make dinner, and live with a roommate for the first time. And all I can say is I am definitely overwhelmed. I call my mom multiple times a day, sometimes in tears.
I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change lately. For those of you going through it, I feel you. I really do. Rearranging your entire life is scary, disorienting, and stressful.
I often feel like I’m losing parts of myself in the transition. I used to think of myself as calm and collected, and now my life has been turned upside down. Things that were once simple, making friends or cleaning my room, can often feel insurmountable. I keep saying I should have just stayed home. Too much change for me too fast.
But it’s about time right? Time to grow up, time to be on my own. Time to learn what that’s like. Learn how to take care of myself. And its not like my family is far away. They are close enough to help me when I need.
Who would I be if I didn’t take that leap and see what I can do on my own? Think of how much I could learn about the world. About myself.
As stressed and scared as I am I keep telling myself: You can do it. You can grow. You can challenge yourself. It is hard now, but it will get easier. It may not seem so now, but it will. Believe that. Go learn about the world, be adventurous, meet new people. Become the person you want to be. You can’t do so without taking that leap and going through the changes in your life.
How do you handle change? What is your perspective when you find yourself confronted with something new? Tell us below.
Daniella is completing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology. She loves traveling, meeting new people, hanging on the beach, and will read anything she can get her hands on. She is obsessed with country music and constantly quoting Friends and One Tree Hill.
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