I hate change.
When I like something, I want it to stay the same. Forever.
J.D. Salinger, in The Catcher in the Rye, wrote: “Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.” I totally agree.
Yet, change is an inevitable part of life. To cling to the old is to die.
I can embrace change, as long as it’s a change I want, a change I’ve initiated. But if someone else tries to change something I think is fine the way it is, if someone tries to fix something that ain’t broke, I oppose it.
I resigned from two jobs when their paradigms shifted. The work I loved turned to torture; my satisfaction changed to uncertainty. As Mary Shelley wrote in Frankenstein: “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
Though leaving my jobs was a positive solution, I deliberated for a long time before making my move—for a year the first time, three years the second. Even in my rebellion, I resisted change. The status quo paradoxically offers comfort, even when it’s barely tolerable.
If I can’t change, I can’t progress, I can’t grow. I’m a dinosaur, destined to die out because I can’t cope with the climate.
So I look at the kaleidoscopic world around me and try to accommodate some of the transformations, the technologies. I’ve conquered basic blogging, but I’m too stupid to use a smart phone, and frankly, I don’t want to learn. I still buy CDs, rather than subscribing to a streaming service. I’m learning how to use a DSLR camera (though I’m still using all the auto settings).
Are my efforts enough? Probably not, but at least I’m not totally left behind.
I turned to literature for some advice on how to handle change, and found these nuggets of wisdom:
- “You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why (Yes, I get the irony that you have to know what a tape player is to understand this quote.)
- “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”― Lao Tzu, father of Taoism
- “The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”― C. JoyBell C., author
- “I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back….”― Erica Jong, author
- “The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”― Roy T. Bennett, author (I follow him on Twitter. His handle is @InspiringThinkn.)
- “Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!”― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
- “I give you this to take with you:
Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can
begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.”― Judith Minty, Letters to My Daughters
- “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”– Isaiah 43:19 NIV
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”– Joshua 1:9 NIV
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”– Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
What about you? Do you have trouble addressing change, or do you meet it with open arms? Do you have any advice for combating aversion to change? Share in the comments below.