Change is actually good for us (just keep telling yourself that). This isn’t the defeatist change of “Well, nothing lasts forever,” but it’s the change of turnover, of freshness, of new ideas and new sights and new relationships. Take my workplace: We’re pretty innovative and highly successful, and it’s because we don’t sit still. We’re constantly thinking, trying new things, give new projects to different people, and it’s all for the betterment of our organization and our product. It’s interesting how in certainly areas of life we say, “Let’s do something new!” where in other areas we say, “I want it to stay the same!” I’m like that way at work. I want to do new things and try new ideas out. I want to be creative and, well, create! I want to explore new avenues of doing things.
But in my personal life I want everything to stay the same. No change, none. I wish we still had the house I grew up in because I want to go back there for holidays. I want to have the same people around me, people who have moved away, or have become distant, or who have died. When I go on vacation, I go to the same place we went on vacation as a family, and do the same things. I don’t so much anymore, but I’ve held on to artifacts solely because they have emotional significance. Maybe it’s nostalgia or something deeper with my control issues, but I like structure, familiarity, and expectation from the things and people around me.
Just this past week a number of things for me, and some things for a friend of mine, changed in the way that things in new seasons do. We’re both in great, exciting new seasons, but we miss the old seasons, particularly the possibility of those old seasons that will never be realized. I’m sure that’s happened to you by simply being human: You envision the future a certain way, and plan for it – certain people being there, certain structures in your life being stable, certain paths running their course – and then something happens and the road takes a sharp turn. But your eyes linger on what once lay ahead. Some of the what-ifs that remain are too small to be noticed, but some of the what-ifs linger and haunt us. Thus the last line of Gatsby: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
But change is good, right? It keeps us constantly evolving. New seasons are good! Growth and challenge are good! New people and new sights and new places and new ideas are good! (Just keep telling yourself that.)