I used to HATE change. Really… the idea of leaving things behind to start from the ground up again elsewhere terrified me, even if my current situation and circumstances weren’t ideal. I think this is just how I am wired; I am a major creature of habit, and feel comfortable following a pretty routine life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Because of this, I’ve been able to create positive habits in my life fairly easily, whether it be in school, hobbies, fitness, etc. However, this trait of mine has made it pretty difficult to learn to accept the constant flow of life, and the constant changes it throws your way.
After high school, I took a gap year to work on recording music alongside the Training Program at Broadway Dance Center. While this truly was one of the most exciting times of my life, I was terrified of the uncertainty a gap year holds. I didn’t know how I was going to make friends, or how to get acclimated to a city as intimidating as New York. College, in some ways, acts as a river; it’s the median that allows for a smoother transition between adolescence and adulthood. Taking my gap year meant for that short period of time, I was pretty much skipping this in between phase and heading right out into the real world as an adult….oh boy.
My life so far has followed a general pattern of extremes; when I’m high, I’m SO high, and most everything in my life is going super well. On the flip side, when I’m low, most everything turns to s***. When I was preparing to leave for New York back in 2015, I was one of the last to leave. Most of my friends had already left for college, leaving only me, my boyfriend at the time, and a couple of my close friends. About a week before I was supposed to leave for NYC, my boyfriend suddenly broke up with me. For the time being, all the nerves and excitement I had been feeling for this next chapter disintegrated, and I pretty much just went numb. I was not excited for anything; it felt like everything that once was part of my life was disappearing and i had no way of controlling it. My friends all began their new lives at school and were quickly developing new friendships, and I lost touch with my ex boyfriend shortly after our break up. The people, places, and things that were once such a huge part of my everyday life became more and more distant, and it gradually became clear to me that it would never be the same way it once was.
Throughout that entire year, my life had lost its “structure,” I didn’t have the routine of school, dance, or long-term friendships that once made me feel secure and stable. This was really the first time in my life where I faced many changes at once, and I think this is what made it the most challenging for me, being the way I am. However, since then, life has only continued to change, as I’m now a college student, and have had to adjust to this life and all the new experiences and relationships it has brought.
Only fairly recently did I truly feel appreciation for how difficult that window of my life was. You hear it all the time, but I never really understood the “everything happens for a reason” mentality until it became so evident in my own life. My gap year taught me a whole lot. I learned that some friendships come and go between periods of time, and that losing touch doesn’t necessarily mean bad blood, but is just a natural part of growing up and developing more concrete opinions and understandings of yourself and the world. I learned that love will also come and go, and that each relationship you enter will teach you more about yourself and what you need from a significant other. Lastly, I became STRONG. I realized no matter how much is thrown at me at once, I’m always able to bounce back and find happiness again. I learned the value of hard work and perseverance, and how to push myself when nobody else is there to push me.
So what’s the point of all of this?
I never would have realized any of this if I resisted the changes happening to me. Letting yourself enter unknown and uncomfortable experiences will ALWAYS lead to a stronger and smarter you, and I couldn’t be more grateful for learning this when I did. I encourage you to look at the the things going on in your life right now, no matter how s***ty they may feel, as opportunities to better yourself. Nothing worth having comes easily, and this applies to our ideal selves. When you learn to see changes and difficulties as blessings in disguise, even in the midst of it, is when you will learn to love them the same way I have. Seriously, try it…I promise you won’t regret it.