I think this blog post could have very well been a part of my ‘Be Present’ blog post from a few weeks back, and of course, change is a big part of us moving through the different stages of our lives. Change is a natural phenomenon but it’s also something we fear or avoid. It’s also something I’ve been struggling with for the better part of my life.
I was that child kicking and screaming when her mum dropped her off at nursery in the morning and I was that kid who hated having to leave her country to be with her parents at the age of eleven because the prospect of change terrified me. I know that anyone would be anxious if they were to go through what I did but I think I took it especially hard. I practically isolated myself from everyone I knew and I can count on two hands the times I left my house to go out in the first six months of moving to the UK. It’s safe to say that I don’t fare well with change.
This fear of change followed me to this day – from finishing secondary school and starting college to beginning my journey at university, I am still just as afraid of change as I was on my first day of nursery. That’s not to say that I am always on the safe side, I certainly have my moments when I forget all rationale and dive straight into whatever’s in front of me, no matter the consequence but sometimes, well, sometimes I have to really think about my decisions because the fear of making a bad decision is so overwhelming that it paralyzes me.
Because of my fear of change I started noticing things about myself. I started noticing how small changes make me feel compared to big changes. Small changes like going vegetarian and then vegan (small for me, big for others – everyone has their own journey) compared to moving countries at the young age of 11 are certainly hard to compare even though they both affected my lifestyle and how I now view the world. I noticed that I can accept small changes, changes that don’t have a huge impact on my day to day life, a lot easier than major changes and I began asking myself why. Of course, because major changes like starting university and moving to another country are bound to throw me into new situations and out of my comfort zone – I can’t control the impact these changes have on my life the way I can control my diet for example. That’s when I realized that I am not really afraid of change because obviously, small change doesn’t bother me, but that I am afraid of losing control and I believe this is something very common, especially amongst young people.
The next step for me was to want to get over my need to be in control of everything which was the difficult part because on one hand, I thought that being in control of everything meant that I was safely in my comfort zone and nothing could shake me out of it. In reality, I wasn’t nearly as safe in my comfort zone as I thought I was because that’s not how life works. Life doesn’t wait for anybody to be ready for change and so by not accepting change and needing to be in control all the time, I wasn’t protecting myself, I was actually holding myself back from learning how to handle losing control of everything so when something big happened I didn’t know how to react. That’s when I realized that in order to live a more fulfilling, less scared life, I needed to figure out why I wanted to be more spontaneous and less controlling.
One of the main reasons why I went on this little journey of self-reflection was that I knew that I wanted to experience life at its fullest capacity and since then, I’ve been working hard on accepting change and losing control from time to time. Of course, nothing happens overnight and I am still very much set on some things, but I am glad I took that step forward and allowed myself to work on becoming a better person, even though I am not there yet.
So here it is, a whole blog post about one of my deepest insecurities, just two months after launching this blog. It really doesn’t take me a long time to feel comfortable enough to over-share. Anyway, I think that as long as this is out there and has the potential to inspire at least one person or to even just spark a bit of interest, then that’s good enough for me. Thank you for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which was the second part of my Hogwarts Houses Study Tips series – the Ravenclaw edition.