I hate change. This is a fact. And not only do i hate it..I fight it, run from it, and at times, I've even tried to sleep through it. Basically, I avoid it at all costs. This undoubtedly explains why the last year of my life has been the most difficult yet, because what it consisted of, almost more than anything else (besides weddings), was change.
It all began almost exactly a year ago, when I changed the plan for my life. Well, I guess really what I should really say, is that for the first time in my life, I made plan for the rest of my life, and this in itself was traumatizing and scary for me. I don't really do "plans", but apparently at a certain point in life, you have to start making them. So, half way through my senior year of college, I decided I wanted to finally pursue my dream of being a Child Life Specialist. I couldn't have picked a more terrible time to do this, because your senior year of college is filled with enough change as it is, even if you just stick to the plan you already have. But changing my career plan, in the midst of everything else going on, really threw things off. This meant an extra semester of school (after all of my best friends graduate), different classes, different goals, new responsibilities and new extra-cirrcular activities, as well as a whole new set of hoops to jump through to become nationally certified. On top of that, the seasons of life were changing. College was drawing to a close, and we were growing up, whether we liked it or not. Talks that had once been about cute boys in our bible class had been replaced by flipping through bridal magazines and picking out engagement rings. Conversations about which majors to chose and which classes to take turned into discussions about careers, salaries, and insurance benefits. The days of midnight trips to waffle house, late night snacks of pizza rolls, and spending 3 days straight in our pj's watching Friends or Grey's Anatomy in our apartment were over, and replaced with a new routine of waking up at 7am for class or work, showering on a daily basis, drinking coffee in the morning, and being in bed by 10pm. And worst of all, my tightly-knit group of friends began to realize that jobs or marriages, in less than a year, may take us away from each other. I handled this news about as well as Charlie Sheen handled being fired from Two and a Half Men. Ok..so maybe that's an exaggeration, but lets just say that during this time, I wasn't exactly "winning" in life. I went from having cried once, maybe twice in the past 3-4 years, to crying once or twice a week, or maybe even a day on a bad day. Everything that I had considered solid or consistent seemed to be fading, and fast. Being with people or in places that had seemed safe and familiar to me all of the sudden seemed difficult, like trying to walk through quick sand, and I was having really tough time finding my footing. The element of security that comes from the college attitude that "these are the best days of our lives", was gone. Things would change, and in fact, they had already begun to do so, despite my efforts to prevent it.
And that was only the beginning. Here I sit a year later, and change still seems to be the unescapable theme of my life. My plans for being a Child Life Specialist came to an abrupt end about 3 weeks ago when I didn't get an internship, meaning I couldn't jump through one of those required hoops. I could have decided to re-apply next semester, but instead I decided to pursue something else. This was a tough blow, to say the least, but friends and family helped me see it as an opportunity for me to grow. And I did grow. I got my act together and started looking for other jobs, and fortunately, I found one! Also, in the past 6 months, four of my very best friends have gotten married, which I am ashamed to say, is something I had previously been dreading for years. Not because I don't want them to be happy, but because it involved change. But I made it. And not only did I make it, I LOVED it. I can honestly say that each of those days were extremely beautiful and joyful in their own unique ways, and made for four of the happiest days of my life. All of this to say, I'm beginning to not hate change quite so much. In fact, I think it may even be a good thing.
This new attitude of mine all started a few weeks ago when my friend Tanna was visiting from Texas, just as the leaves were starting to..you guessed it: change. For those of us that grew up here in the south, autumn is awesome, but we're kind of used to the colors of the leaves and the beautiful weather. Tanna, however is not used to this. Texas is dry and arid, and apparently there, the leaves just dry up and fall off, because it never rains. She was absolutely shocked by how beautiful the leaves were. Every time we got in the car to go somewhere, she was in awe of the colors of the leaves, and right before she left, she even made me take a walk around the block with her, just so she could take pictures of the tress and the leaves. And even through I spent most of it rolling my eyes, deep down it made me realize how beautiful fall really is. And ever since she left, I've been so much more thankful and appreciative of the beauty of fall. I have even stopped myself to take in the beauty of it all, the colors of the leaves and the cool crisp air. And I got to thinking about it, and I think maybe the changing of the seasons is God's way of telling us that change is good. And everything that I've learned in the past year seems to prove that this is true as well. The leaves changing means that something better is coming, and through nature dying and being reborn with the changes of the seasons year after year, life is able to happen and thrive in the world. And I think we would all benefit from viewing the changes in the seasons of our lives in this way, that they represent an opportunity for growth, and that perhaps something better is awaiting us in the next season. So if you're experiencing a season of change in your life, don't give up. Just think about it this way: the leaves have to fall off before they can grow back and be beautiful again.