What Change May Come

Mar 5, 2014 by

          My amazing friends, knowing that I’ve made some significant changes to my life lately, have been regularly checking in with me throughout the last couple months to see how I’m doing. It melts my heart every time I get an unsolicited I’m-proud-of-you or you-made-the-right-decision or you’re-one-of-the-most-independent-people-I-know-no-matter-where-you-live. (I especially love that last one!) Evidently, my friends are beyond wonderful. It’s frustratingly difficult to emphasize their quality in words, because they deserve better adjectives than the English language can give them. To officially – in writing – reassure my incredible friends, who never doubt my ability to successfully cope with tough situations but are lovingly concerned about me regardless, I’m doing well. Change may initially be uncomfortable, but it also builds my confidence in my ability to adapt. Furthermore, the fact that the recent major changes in my life are a result of my own decision-making increases my assurance in both my refusal to settle and my determination to proceed in the direction that I want to go. Finally, it makes me certain of the sustainability of my happiness.

          With regard to moving back to my parents’ house in particular, I’ve already found a positive that makes me happy. As much as I loved my rental apartment, there are some bad memories associated with it. Until The Happiness Experiment, I had never in my life known what consistent happiness was. Of course, I had experienced happiness at times, but it was infrequent, sporadic, and quickly dissipated, because it was not self-created. It came from external sources that I had no control over. That’s not to say that I’ve been depressed my entire life. I’ve swayed in and out of long, distinct stretches of depression, the worst one starting at age 18 and ending at age 23. In between depressions, I resided in a not-depressed-but-not-happy state. I reached my most depressed during my early twenties. Consequently, in addition to the happy moments in my apartment, I have horrible memories stored there too. Now that I’ve left, I feel beautifully detached from the late nights on the floor, while still greatly appreciative of the happiness that followed them. Thus, a change that I was dreading (I loved, loved, loved that apartment, friends!) has already brought good.

          Unlike before The Happiness Experiment, I now have a large capacity for change. I’ve become skilled at molding my thinking to benefit myself. I can transition from familiarity to novelty fairly easily. I take pride in this. Depression hindered my ability to adapt. Small setbacks used to throw me into emotional whirlwinds, because I didn’t know how to healthily cope. Thus, my current adaptiveness is proof of the progress I’ve made through happiness. Yes, change makes me nervous, but doing nerve-racking things excites me. Change only makes us apprehensive because the outcome of it is less predictable than that of what we already know. Yet, it is the not knowing that makes life thrilling. Ironically, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, we seek the change that we’re sometimes reluctant to put in motion. We fantasize about change because routine is boring. Aware of this, I’m embracing this period of change for all of the exciting unpredictableness that it offers. I know that it is times of change that we live for, and I’m exhilarated by all that I don’t yet know is to come.

Happiness Tip: Initiate change.

 
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