An Essay on Change

. 2 min read

Life has been hectic lately, and the awkward time between finishing university and starting a career continues to be a daunting one. Whether doubtful or excited, its scary taking a step into the unknown. And that's okay.

Recently, I've taken comfort knowing I wasn't alone in the emotional whirlwind of graduating. Everyone in my class knew what one another was going through, it barely needed mentioning. Now that I've had time to reflect, I see my comfort came from more than community, I had stumbled upon a simple truth of reality: during times of uncertainty and chaos, we are at our most connected, and most human; I wasn't only sharing these emotions with my peers, I was engaging in a fundamental experience and requirement for existence itself.

I was sharing my fear of change with everything that exists.

This abstraction may seem grandiose, but when grounded in the reality of biology it makes perfect sense. Evolutionarily speaking, it's understandable that life has developed with a healthy dose of 'fear of the unknown'. It may be hard to imagine but your fear of doing something new or different, of making a change, like a new career or moving to a new city, is exactly the same fear that would stop you from being eaten alive by a vicious predator.

Its scary taking a step into the unknown. And that's natural.

But fear is just warning sign, a physiological skeptic tapping on your shoulder and shaking its head, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea", it says, "things are going well, why change?". Warning signs though, are very different from stop signs, and, if you are listening carefully, deep from somewhere in your conciousness comes a smirk with the distant but simple reply, "Why settle for 'going well' when things could be going great.".

There are two fundemental traits to change, danger, for sure, but also promise. Just as evolution tries to protect us by giving us an in-built skeptic it also tempts us with the voice of adventure and wonder, and a vision of greener grasses. It is understanding this flip-side to change that helps me take leaps like sailing in the Caribbean and experimenting with my diet. By focusing on the 'what ifs' and the potential held in doing something different or starting a new phase of life, one does not eliminate the fear, they justify it, and move forward in spite of it. When you get to this point you'll find... its scary taking a step into the unknown. And that's exciting.

Graeme Russell

I created this blog as a way to reach people about topics I care about: ethics, self-improvement, and lifestyle. I hope you can find something of value here.