Blogger | Teacher
As Mandy Hale once said, “Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” Periods of change are some of the hardest times you’ll experience in your life – there is so much fear in the uncertain, the chaos of everything transforming into something new. But change is also necessary and beautiful, allowing us to test our limits and see how strong and resilient we really are.
It’s okay to be afraid of change or to be anxious about the unknowns of the future, but you can never let those feelings stop you from moving forward. Even when you are afraid, the world keeps spinning and life will move on, and you can’t let yourself be left behind because you’re too scared to keep going. Here are some of the painful (but also beautiful) truths about change – I hope they inspire you and give you hope when the fear and anxiety overwhelm you.
They’re a moment of introspection
Periods of change aren’t just about the ways your life will be different at the end – they’re also about unpacking your own personal baggage so you can leave behind the things you don’t need anymore. They’re about recognizing and embracing who you are, as well as encouraging yourself to become the person you want to be. Change is hard because it’s uncertain, but there’s a certain amount of beauty in that uncertainty.
Change gives you the room to repaint yourself in the colors you want to wear. Whether you finally allow yourself the freedom to be the person you were hiding away, or maybe you simply begin to care for the person inside you who has been hurting, these periods of change are an opportunity for giving yourself room to grow into a better-rounded, more self-assured person.
Never be afraid to question who you are or why certain things make you feel a different way. While change (especially personal change) can be scary, it can also be healing and rewarding in the end.
Everything changes, even what brings you joy
Sometimes, the difficulty with periods of change and times of transition is that we can’t seem to find joy in the things around us. What used to make us happy no longer brings the same amount of gratification into our lives, and we’re still not sure what will make us happy in the future. Transition is hard because sometimes it changes things we weren’t ready to change, and we have to reconfigure even the smallest aspects of our lives.
But here’s the truth: sometimes change – especially if it involves an internal transformation – means giving up the things we used to love. Maybe it’s letting go of relationships that once meant the world to us or moving on from hobbies and interests that filled us with joy. That doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to those things forever – maybe eventually we’ll be able to find happiness in them again. But if you want to find a light at the end of the tunnel, you have to be willing to embrace the change you’re going through completely and let it guide you toward the person you’re supposed to be.
You have to get across the bridge
Recently, I myself have been experiencing one of the hardest periods of change I’ve ever gone through. Transition is never easy, but trying to do it alone far away from all the people you know and love just makes it all the more difficult. When talking with my friends, I realized a lot of other people feel this way – whenever you are moving from one situation to another (whether it’s changing jobs, moving homes, or making big lifestyle changes like starting a family), there’s always this moment that we all have where we wonder if we’re doing the right thing.
It’s like life is a bridge, and your future (the one full of uncertainty, but also possibility) is on one end, while your past (the things you know and understand, but have also wished were different) is on the other. When you’re going through a transition, it’s a lot like you’re standing in the middle of the bridge, staring at both ends and trying to decide which the better option is.
On the one hand, the life behind you is safe and secure, and you know what to expect from it so it doesn’t scare you. But at the other end, the uncertainty of the future also means there are unbridled possibilities – a life that could be everything you ever wanted. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who gets to decide which direction you go in. And whether you move forward or go back, you will still end up changed from the journey. The important part is to just keep moving.
It’s okay if the change hurts
Periods of change are, inevitably, painful. They’re sad and they’re stressful and they make us think about and feel things we may not have been ready for. And it’s okay if you’re scared of them. It’s alright to be sad, to cry if you need to, and it’s okay if you’re unsure about whether you’re making the right decision in chasing the change.
It’s also okay if you struggle to feel happy, and if you need time to deal with the mix of emotions you are experiencing. Don’t worry about whether you’re “doing it right” or acting the way you think you are supposed to be – change is a personal journey, and that means accepting that not all of the moments are going to be beautiful. Sometimes we are simply doing what we can to get by.
It’s all temporary
On that note, however, one thing to remember about periods of change is that it’s all temporary. Like a river that is constantly flowing, life is always moving forward. Pain that feels like it will last forever always seems to end eventually. While you can never know if the next part of life is going to be less painful, you can at least hold onto the truth that it will inherently look different somehow.
I never like to tell people “it gets better” when they’re going through a difficult time because, honestly, I have no way of knowing that. There have been plenty of times when the moment that was supposed to be “better” ended up being just as hard and difficult (but in its own ways). However, I do tell them that everything is temporary – life is inherently a temporary thing, and everything ends. You never know what the next phase will look like, so it’s always important to hold out hope that whatever comes next won’t be quite as bad as whatever you’re going through now.
What are your thoughts on periods of change? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.