Why I Chose Change – And Why You Should Too.
Posted on July 1, 2015
Change. Whether it’s good or bad or indifferent, you can feel it coming from miles away. It’s like a distant storm whose approaching trajectory is revealed by the appearance of rain clouds and the pungent scent of the earth. You know it’s coming – and before you can blink, or run, or hide – you’re right in the middle of it. Some people call it a “whirlwind,” but I imagine something more powerful than that. To me, it’s like a tornado ripping through your life as multitudes of directions and decisions swirl around you in great velocity, challenging you to stand – and endure – and survive.
And for the past few months, I found myself right in the eye of it all.
“We mistake comfort for happiness. Comfort sells easier than happiness. Comfort is easy. It requires no effort and no work. Happiness takes effort. It requires being proactive, confronting fears, facing difficult situations, and having unpleasant conversation.”
For many years, the above quote hung by a single tack on my office corkboard. Its words and underlying message helped me make some big decisions over the years, many that involved having “unpleasant” conversations, yet those that were necessary for my own happiness. It’s interesting how difficult it is (at times) to choose change when we are so comfortable with how things are, who we know, and what we do. I found myself there a few times … comfortable … comfortable yet unhappy. I arrived at the realization that this “comfort” was just a mask over the underlying problems which hid beneath a façade of a fake smile and a lonely heart. I felt comfortable, yet, ironically, my life lacked just that – comfort; true comfort which usually accompanies a sense of relief when everything is just as it should be. And I yearned for that. So, I made difficult decisions and had unpleasant conversations. I stopped lying to myself anilmd pretending like everything was okay and started to take initiative. I said goodbye to those who I coined “soul suckers,” the emotional vampires who feed off your unhappiness. Once I accomplished that, this quote hung on that same corkboard and bore, what I thought, was no future relevance – until I received a job offer at a new firm with the requirement to relocate – and then I was smacked with a whopper of a decision. The idea of walking into something new scared the hell out of me. Again, I was comfortable with my current position. I wasn’t happy, but I was comfortable. I knew everyone. I had friends, lunch mates, and a go-to gossip buddy. I knew how to do my job. I felt security there. And just like that, the clouds rolled in. Was this the right decision? Will I like it there? Will they like me? After weighing all of my options and a long list of pros and cons, I accepted the offer. And just like that, I was saying goodbye to friends and coworkers and packing up a 10-ft. U-Haul with big furniture and big dreams.
Sure, change can be scary as hell.
But it can also be exciting.
To me, this move meant uncovering many life “news”: new job, new coworkers and new friends. It meant venturing into town and finding new lunch spots and bagel shops.
It meant a new apartment. Ordering Chinese food on our first night and eating on the balcony with the background buzz of summer bugs. It meant homemade pizza nights and sharing a home with a man who loves me so much that he pretends to like shopping with me.
It meant stepping out of my comfort zone. It meant taking a leap of faith and accepting a challenge – strapping on my best heels and walking all over my worries. It meant being thankful for past opportunities, but allowing myself the opportunity for better ones.
Have you ever noticed the sky after a storm? Sunsets are more colorful. Arches of color stretch the sky. Sure, change can be scary. But once you overcome that swirling intensity of doubt, and that storm dissipates, change can leave you in a brighter place, with more opportunity and more …. happiness. So, if you are faced with change, don’t run from it right away. Take a hard look at your current state. Are you truly happy? Or are you just comfortable? Life is too precious and time is too short. Don’t settle. If it feels right, take the leap of faith. Accept the challenge and find yourself, like I have, in a happier place.
The real calm after the storm.
“Two road diverged in a yellow wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
Have you been faced with change and an extraordinarily difficult decision? How did you handle it and what did you decide? Tell me about it.