Don’t Fight Change

The pandemic has caused more change in the world in the recent moves than the world has endured as a whole in years. This can be uplifting: seeing the Earth less polluted, watching nature take back what is hers, neighbors and families who would see each other every couple months are now facetiming and using Zoom daily. But it can also be disheartening as it puts into perspective how resistant we as a world are to positive change under normal circumstances. This is greatly due to a common trait we see even now during the quarantine in many people, the fear of change. 

I personally consider myself to be one of these people who fear change. When everything was “normal” in the world and there wasn’t a killer virus on the loose, realizing that you have this fear can be rather difficult as we subconsciously fight against change. For example, someone might say that they are “old-fashioned” or that they like things the way they are and don’t want change, while those are viable opinions, they set people up for failure. The reason for this is that when real change occurs, like being forced to stay in your home without seeing anyone other than the people than you live with, these people who subconsciously fought against it are now fully exposed to it, which can lead to a sort of shock. I personally find myself missing the ways things were, when my phone didn’t release a deafeningly annoying sound at 6:30 pm everyday and my most consumed food wasn’t ham and cheese sandwiches, and that’s normal. Missing the way things were is normal, but because of my fear of change I’ve also noticed that I have been much more stubborn and slow to accept the new norm. This has led me to feel extreme pent-up frustration and anxiety, my patience towards those who live with me (mother, father, twin brother) is running thin, and I am always irritable. Resisting the change has created a cocktail of negative emotions for me. 

The ironic thing is that change itself is what prompted me to reflect and evaluate myself and identify these things in my life. Personally, as much as I am not enjoying the experience, I do think I am growing from it because noticing my own fears and insecurities in regard to change have made me think about my future and all the changes that lie ahead, and how I must be prepared to face the change. In my time in quarantine I watched a new television series on the streaming platform Netflix called The Midnight Gospel, which has helped keep my mind active and given me food for thought. Although difficult to explain, The Midnight Gospel finds ways to incorporate profound discussions about a range of difficult concepts like mortality, forgiveness, death, and grief. The final episode is centered around the difficulties of losing someone you love, coping with the heartbreak, and most importantly the change that comes with it. 

Watching The Midnight Gospel has encouraged me to reflect and it was after watching the final episode that I felt as if I obtained some, however little, clarity on the topic. Change is inevitable; no matter how hard one tries to run away from it it will eventually catch up with you. This realization has allowed me to try to practice healthier coping mechanisms. For example, instead of lying in bed sleeping all day and filling my spare time with distractions, I have begun trying to integrate the pain and hurt I have felt from the change into my writing, and I have begun to embrace it. Change is also necessary. It is a tool for self-improvement and growth. The challenges and discomfort presented by change exist to make us stronger. 

If we turn toward change with an open heart and an open mind we can see that change can be kind. But when we turn away from it, that is when the suffering begins. A suffering that leaves you confused, vulnerable, and feeling unimportant. While this can be avoided, the suffering itself, painful as it is, is also a part of the process of self betterment. The confusion allows one to search for the truth, the vulnerability allows one to open up to others and get in touch with one’s own feelings, and the feeling of unimportance acts as a checking of the ego and a grounding in reality because, in the grand scheme of things, the truth is that we are unimportant and insignificant. The problems we are facing are not as big as they seem, the more importance we give to your own lives and problems the bigger they will seem. 

While I may not have been able to explain myself with the nonchalant ease and complicated lexicon of The Midnight Gospel’s host Clancy Gilroy, this is why change is necessary and inescapable.


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