The problem with change isn’t the change itself. It’s not knowing.
Change is horrifying because we don’t know what it means. We can’t define it or explain it, or glance around the corner and see exactly what it is. Change is shrouded in mystery and, like the dark, it scares us because not knowing scares us.
There is something thick and heavy in the anticipation. We get so comfortable where we are. We build homes and families and gather memories. They pile on and set roots where they stand. Getting up and leaving them behind isn’t just a brief visit away, it’s abandonment. A relationship, or a job, or even a house. We set roots and we grow so that when it’s time to go we are so shaken we hesitate.
The fear of leaving behind everything you grew and developed is a looming presence, a cloud of darkness. We think of all those little moments that made it special and the extra room we cleared for it in our hearts. We can’t part. How could we? How can we just tear out that piece of ourselves and leave it behind?
It’s warm and safe and, my God, does it have the best freaking people.
But we can’t stay in one place forever. If we do, we’re not moving forward. Jobs are hard to leave because we don’t know if we’ll be any good at the new one. Relationships are hard to leave because we feel like we’re losing someone we love, and we don’t know if any better ones will be formed. Homes are hard to leave because we don’t want to lose the memories we built in them.
The unknown is terrifying because we can’t predict what follows. We live in ‘what ifs’ and ‘hopefully’ because we cannot imagine possibilities. We start to think of the negative ones rather than the positive ones. And one thought turns into an endless chain of overthinking until we get overwhelmed and frustrated and decisions grow more and more impossible to make.
But, we have to start somewhere.
The road might be dark and we might not know when or where it ends, but we have to trust in our instincts. We have to move forward and try anyway. And if it sucks, we pick up and turn around and try again. It is scary. So very scary. Trust me, I know.
We have to remember though, that roots can be lifted and potted and replanted somewhere else. I know it’s daunting, but it might be amazing too. If we stick with where we’ve rooted then we’ll never move forward, we’ll never get to where we really want to be.
Maybe it’s worth the fear.