“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein
We all know the adage, ‘change is good.’ In all honesty, whenever I hear it, I want to roll my eyes far enough back in my head to lose them. It’s not the phrase itself I get embittered over, but the ease at which it’s uttered versus the herculean effort it takes to actually implement.
Change isn’t always better. Change can be blood, sweat and tears that wrings me out for all I’m worth, and not only pushes me three steps back, but throws me horizontally down a different path altogether. Change is like rearranging my bones while I’m still breathing. Change takes time and dedication, and sometimes, it feels like an impossibility.
But the benefits of change—of evolution—go beyond better, good, or reward. Change, when approached with insight and fastidiousness, can simply make me happier.
I’ve spoken about my declining health before. When the pain from my arthritis and ankylosis spondylitis started setting in at a more severe level, I had to start making some tough choices. Choices and changes I didn’t want to make; ones that weren’t better, but would in the long run would make me happier.
No, I didn’t want to be restricted in how long or how much I could sit, stand, draw, write, walk. But the sooner I accepted these limitations I could neither control nor change, the sooner I could make decisions to let me live a creative life, even if it didn’t look like the one I had envisioned.
There was the change I was given and then the change I chose. Let us not forget there is a difference, and let the change we choose be the ones that leave us feeling lighter.