You’ll probably hear something like: It depends on if it’s good or bad…
If we’re honest, most of us feel this way. We set our preferences from an early age.
On the + side: Exciting new job = good. New car = good. New girlfriend = good. Spring = good.
On the – side: Strange new boss = bad. New diagnosis = bad. Girlfriend breaks up = bad. Winter = bad.
Even if our preferences are set differently from most other people—some people actually love winter and hate summer, crazy as that may sound—we all have them.
Change occurs at every stage in our lives, but it’s never BIGGER or as CONCENTRATED than as Young Adults.
High School graduation, leave home, (break-up with boyfriend, find new boyfriend, get broken-up by boyfriend), College, NEW friends, NEW Job, NEW boyfriend, NEW boss, NEW car, college graduation, NEW job, NEW home, NEW friends, NEW spouse, NEW child, and on and on… Most of these NEW situations come with NEW freedom and NEW responsibilities you Young Adult must learn to navigate. I think you get the idea.
How we set our preferences will make a big difference in how easily we navigate through the changes in our lives.
If our default setting is CHANGE is BAD, it will be hard for us. We’ll be sad and/or scared. If we change the setting, unclick CHANGE is BAD and click the setting that says CHANGE is INEVITABLE, it will be easier for us. Realizing HOW I DEAL WITH CHANGE determines how I will fare, goes a long way to helping us navigate that change in the healthiest way.
Even if we’re not quite ready to click off the IT DEPENDS button on our preferences filter, we can rise above the situation and accept that within any change (especially a major one) are aspects that can be interpreted as good or bad.
Take high school graduation. Many teens can’t wait to graduate high school and look forward to all the new friends and challenges that await them in their next stage of life, even if the unknown is a little scary. Others are sad high school is over, sad that the friends and teachers will no longer be part of their daily lives. Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang about the people stuck in the Glory Days of high school. And it’s true. They pass you by. Right? Ready to click on the CHANGE IS INEVITABLE button?
The truth is that both scenarios are true. Things are rarely ALL GOOD or ALL BAD, but since it’s nearly impossible to feel equally happy and sad at the same time, we describe the situation as bittersweet. An oxymoron.
The trick is to stay rooted in the present, while preparing for the future.
Reminisce about the past with an occasional glance through your yearbook or a get-together with high school friends.
Or reminisce even further back… to the time when Dr. Seuss had all the answers: 30 QUOTES THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE