On a cold New Year’s Eve a few years ago, I told myself, “No more character development! Next year will be all about story progression!” I don’t remember what year it was, but I know that nothing really changed over the next year. I made the promise again the year after that… and the year after that… and the year after that. Over and over, it felt like nothing really happened in my life – like I was stuck in the same place, year after year.
I can honestly say that so much has changed since this time last year that I’ll probably be saying this New Year’s Eve, “Let’s just chill for a minute, okay?”
I think the reason nothing really happened was because I’d always been so scared of change. To be completely honest, I still am, in some ways. After all, I like to be comfortable. But I’m not quite so petrified of it as I used to be.
Maybe it’s because I’ve lost so much recently that it feels useless to try to hold onto normality, like grasping at sand when waves are pulling it back out to sea.
Last summer, I prayed for a new car, a new job, and a new place to live (not necessarily in that order). In less than a year, it all happened. I didn’t mind that change as much as the stuff that was outside of my control, but even the things I’ve chosen have had unexpected consequences.
It’s probably mostly because of this change that I haven’t posted recently. I kept thinking, I’ll do it when I get past this hurdle. When this next thing blows over, I’ll write a big post about how much I learned from it and then we’ll go on from there.
And then stuff just kept happening, guys. Who would’ve thought. I barely had time to “learn” from anything before the next thing happened and pushed me back down again. (There’s that wave analogy again.)
Seriously though. If I could’ve told myself a few years ago that sometimes character development and story progression happens at the same time and that it would all happen at the same time way faster than I wanted it to – and that some of the things that caused both would leave me on my floor too tired to cry anymore – I think Younger Me wouldn’t have been quite so eager to be in a different situation.
If I’ve learned anything from the insane events of the last six months, it would be this: Don’t be so afraid of change. It feels overly simplistic to say that “nothing changes if nothing changes,” but it’s true.
Nowadays, nothing terrifies me more than stagnancy. I’ve learned that moving and discomfort and learning and constantly being reshaped is all part of growth, and it’s hard to grow if you’re frozen still in a “comfortable” place.
My best friend and I talked extensively on the phone yesterday, partially about how neither of us are “there” yet and we never will be. I’m grateful for that. I want to be able to look back and see that I’ve made progress, even if it’s just a few steps farther from where I was.
And sometimes being shaken up and spilled out and broken is a good thing.
(PS: Thank you for reading this, whoever you are. I’m so grateful for you. Please know that I don’t take you for granted! If something has happened in your life since we talked last, let me know in a comment! How have you moved on from something and grown from it? I’d love to talk with you about it!)