Thoughts On Change

I personally don’t understand people who lament about change. The ones who get personally offended when a new house is built in the neighbourhood. Or a road is expanded. Or farmland is sold and upscale condos replace it.

I drafted this post while I walked in the trails winding through the village where I grew up. They had changed since the last time I walked them. Trees fell. Leaves covered once-loved paths. Water washed away chunks of cliffsides. Another rock in the rapids. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the changes, since erosion had affected the trails and I needed to find different routes, or the trail had gotten incredibly steep. But I wasn’t sad or hurt or upset. Two hundred years ago, before any of my ancestors left Scotland and Japan, these trails and this river housed water mills.

This is nature. It moves.

I know some people have difficulty adapting to change. They get anxious, or nervous, or angry, or confused. They have their reasons, and I’m not going to delve into why some people find change and changing things to be difficult. There are always a wide variety of why people can’t handle change. I have never been one of those people.

Sometimes I think back on how my surroundings used to be, compared to how they have changed. But the world does not need to line up with a single snapshot from my memory. Who even knows if that memory is accurate and truthful to what the past was? What if I’ve changed my memory based on how my life has changed since then? There’s no way to know, so there’s no reason for me to complain.

I think a large part of my understanding and acceptance of change comes from my childhood. Nothing was ever secure. The predictable aspects of life came from the disjoint and the sudden change. I could rely on change. I could rely on something abrupt. I could anchor myself and pretend that hectic chaos was normal.

Of course, that isn’t very healthy. Needing chaos to function? Only feeling security when something is up in the air? I’ve deviated from those childhood lessons. I plan things and prefer when things are either set in stone or set in motion. (Eyy, there’s a set of antonyms for you.) I don’t like when I can’t predict something, but it doesn’t matter what I like or dislike. Uncertainty or surety exist whether I want them to or not in a situation.

Even when there is a new rock in the water’s course, it flows around it. When a cloud is battered by wind, it doesn’t stand firm in the atmosphere: it shapes itself to the current. A flower wilts. A fruit ripens. A construction crew and a housing company sign a contract to turn the forest behind my childhood home into a set of unneeded suburbs. My grandparents put the childhood home on the market. I move from this village to Windsor to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. I contemplate—seriously consider, really—moving out of the province. My hair grows because I decide to change.

I think change and control go hand-in-hand. Maybe there is a conflict between them for people that makes them dislike one or the other. Even controlling something in order to get change, like controlling a diet or exercise regime to change your body. That’s an opposition between change and control. Using one to get the other. Changing something to gain control. Controlling something to incite change. If something is out of your control, then why the fuck are you getting offended? Or upset? Or disappointed? You can’t control everything, just like you can’t change everything. Maybe expectations and desires come into play too.

4 Comments


  1. I definitely think change and control are linked together. I’m the type of person who likes to be in control and when a change is out of my hands I find it very difficult to deal with.

    It’s funny though as over the years I have been exposed to so much change. I’ve been known to break down over change, but I think I’m a strong person who climbs over any obstacle that’s in front of me. I either embrace the change and adapt, or do something about it, because sometimes it’s possible.

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  2. Change is change, neither good or bad, but it happens to people and things. Sometimes you can change those things, but sometimes you can’t. It’s complex and fluid. I like that word: fluid in all ways.

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    1. “Fluid” is definitely a good word to use when approaching change, Michelle. 🙂

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  3. I think you nailed it on the head, Coryl. I have to admit you are quite correct, change and control do indeed go hand in hand. I feel like those who feel the worst about change are those who cannot control the situation they are in. It’s quite true indeed.

    I have been through so many different things, I mean to be honest, you have to be open to that change and to be flexible. That is how life rolls. As much as we would like to be able to change that, we have to realize life does not always go with what we plan. Life has it’s own way of playing out sometimes and often times it for the best!

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