Going with the Flow
In the words of Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Life is full of changes. It ebbs and flows as the waves do systematically each day. As children, change may appear to us in the form of a new, younger sibling or even an alteration to our napping schedule. Once we grow older, change becomes entering middle school or surviving the big bad scheme of high school.
When in that moment, we think, “This is it, this is the real world.” Unfortunately, we are sadly mistaken. Beyond the cinderblock walls of a school lives a world full of hustle and bustle that does not stop for anyone or care who it incapacitates. It is the real real world. Every high school student can probably visualize their parents muttering, “Wait until we cast you into the real world.” Thus the image is born of a catapult getting ready to launch an object at a target in the distance.
Eventually our lives commence in this mystical “real world”. What once was foreign to us becomes routine and we adapt to change. Easier said than done, right?In just about three months, each of us will begin our individual journeys through the supermassive vacuum that is change. It all starts on decision day, May 1st. As confident as we may be about each of our futures, life can always throw a curve. That curve is what causes me to feel uneasy about change.
I never have been one to adapt well to interruptions or speed bumps in the road life lays for me. I question everything and think very methodically and by doing this, I analyze each possible outcome for each decision that I consider making. I consider myself to be responsible and independent but I can picture myself, sitting in a college dorm room, plagued with grief over what has become of a decision I made. There is just something about the unknown that causes me anxiety. The reason that I oppose change is a result of my insatiable desire to control everything that comes my way. I want to be the master of my own fate and know that I did everything I could to be in the current state that I am.
I have lived in the same house on the same street with the same people for my entire seventeen years of life. I am happy for the changes that will soon be coming my way, but still feel the tinge of uneasiness I feel when I think about it.The biggest change I have ever endured was switching schools. My life maintains a very simple status quo that I am perfectly content with. College, however, is an entirely different ball game.
With each acceptance letter that the mail man delivers to my door, I become more and more nervous about having to make a decision and the change that I will be soon to encounter. It is if I will soon have to relearn the world as I know it. I cannot picture or even try to imagine my life being any different than it is right now. The way that I choose to perceive the world is not necessarily how it is going to turn out, but that is what makes change so unpredictable. While we can expect something to change, it never really does go according to plan. We can never truly orchestrate the outcome of a situation.
Though I try to embrace change, the idea of it still frightens me sometimes. All we can really do is hold on for the ride and hope for the best. We as people are expected to expect that change will come our way. We are encouraged to welcome it and embrace it. For some of us, though, as it is for me, change is frightening and unpredictable.
The uncertainty and surprises that life has in store for us are just part of the journey. It is important for me especially to reassure myself that while change is inevitable, it is my decision how I cope with it. I can either become a piece in the game of life or resist and just sit this one out. The choice is up to me.