January 6, 2015

Resisting Change: Perfectly Normal, But No Excuse

Here I am, packing up my home and moving again. My friends and family think I'm crazy. But I can't help it; after two years anywhere, I'm bored and restless. In fact, I seem to thrive on change, seeking it out with eager anticipation. If I was more courageous, I would just get on a train to anywhere and never look back.

Change is inevitable. Yet it's human nature to resist change -- we want things to stay the same, and we look nostalgically upon the past as something that was stable, comfortable, reliable. If we try to go back, we are confronted only with the reality that everything is always changing, including our perceptions. That house that seemed so big when you were a child? Not so big, much shabbier, oddly unfamiliar and usually depressing.

Is change stressful? Absolutely! This week I'm waking up every day in a panic, wondering if I have enough time to do it all before Friday, hoping that nothing will go wrong, and checking over and over to ensure that nothing was overlooked. I'm tired, exhausted, grumpy and miserable.

Before visiting South Africa for a month, I was a mess of nerves. I packed and repacked dozens of times, and still took too much and/or all the wrong things. Before my trip to Alaska, I was sick for an entire day, puking and nauseous. Whenever I change jobs, it's even worse. I tear my hair out, have anxiety attacks and usually buy something new to wear, just to get through the first day. Change does a real number on me, as if to say - Are you sure you want to do this?

The excitement of planning change, though, and the thrill of getting through it, usually cancels out the negative stress. There is great satisfaction when I sit quietly in my new space, get home from a mind-blowing travel adventure, or settle into a new job with different challenges.

Change. It's constant. The black hole exploded, the universe expanded, and nothing has stayed the same since. The entire universe is molecules in motion, continuously moving, still expanding, anchored by centrifugal and centripital forces and gracing us with no two snowflakes identical, no living thing immortal. It's awesome and inspiring to think that we are part of this stardust voyage, ignorant of our ultimate destiny yet desperate to learn more as we grow and die within our allotted 100 years or less.

The next time you find yourself resisting change, ask yourself why. Be honest with your answer. Are you just being lazy or scared? If everything around you is changing, why stand still? It might be better to embrace change and enjoy it. Life is short.


  1. Fear of the unknown is usually the sticking point for a lot of people. Even though familiarity may breed contempt, it is comfortable.
    We all need to try to embrace change a little more.

  2. So incredibly true. We want the world to change but we are not willing to change ourselves.. We become too comfortable with the routine and don't want to 'rock the boat' as it where.

    Always love your writings.



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