Finding beauty in change: giving up what is familiar


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Olivia Perkins, Opinions Editor

6,530 days. 

I have lived in the same house for 6,530 days. This is the steadiness in my life.

I wake up, brush my teeth, walk down our 16 stairs, and step onto our bare wood floors where my feet are greeted with a familiar squeak. I adore my home. I appreciate the comfort it brings me. 

In 120 days, I am relinquishing this steadiness in exchange for a lifestyle I am completely unfamiliar with: college. 

For the majority of my life, up until this point, I have always believed in the adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Many times, this phrase suited the situation perfectly and I was able to absolve myself from attempting to alter what was so consistently correct. However, in many situations, I unintentionally avoided growth by clinging to routines and the things in my life that remained stagnant.

I recently enrolled in a four-year university. I signed up for moving seven hours away and I am extremely apprehensive. For the first time in my life, I am leaving everyone I know behind for a crowd where I know nobody. Although this is the greatest amount of change I will have ever experienced, it is not the first time I have let go of what is familiar.

I have come to realize that you cannot relive the same events repeatedly until you die. For younger me, this concept was difficult to grasp, because why would life be considered enjoyable if you could never become familiar with everything? In my eyes, steadiness was comfort, and if steadiness could not be attained in all aspects of my life then was I truly succeeding on a personal level at all?

However, everything is in a perpetual state of flux, from the natural world to human society. Novel experiences are unavoidable. So, I have found that embracing said change and relinquishing my aspirations to be entirely familiar with everything all the time is probably the most pleasurable way to live life.

So I am giving up my 16 stairs and familiar floorboard squeak for a town of all new faces 500 miles away for the sake of personal growth.

While my decision to move away from home seems somewhat routine to most, I am observing on a finer level that this decision has served as a catalyst for my newfound willingness to accept new opportunities for experiences and relationships. 

The smaller decisions I have made this year have somehow snowballed into this final change on a grander scale. Being given the opportunity and platform to write columns about topics I am deeply interested in has been a powerful way to challenge myself to grow as a person and step out of what I deemed “safe” or comfortable. I shared my opinions on topics such as gender, unhealthy relationships, and toxic cultures and related them all to my own lived experiences. This routine of publicly sharing my opinions helped me realize that being uncomfortable and progressing is far more rewarding than being comfortable, quiet, and complacent. 

We have command over our lives. While in certain situations, feeling trapped in our circumstances can be effortless, we have to remember that we have the capability to make the conscious choice to alter whatever we may dislike or be bored of. The changes we make have the potential to have a profound impact on our lives.

I used to believe that everything that occurred to me was predetermined. 

I believed that life was something happening around me and my sole purpose was to fall in line and function accordingly.

 However, I now realize nobody is obligated to cling to who they think they should be, and embracing inconsistency is a must. 

Let go of consistency. 

I would like to thank The Oracle for providing me with a platform to express myself through my writing. My four years spent with this family has been a deeply enriching and fulfilling experience to which I owe a large majority of my personal growth. This platform has given me the ability to connect with a community of people larger than my school and become comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

 Most importantly, The Oracle has given me my voice, and that is an invaluable gift I will carry with me for the rest of my life.