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I’m not a fan of change.
There, I said it. I know that’s not what the lifestyle gurus and influencers would have us believe. According to them – change is good, change is vital for life and growth.
But what they usually fail to acknowledge is that change also sucks.
Why? Because it’s hard and painful and unfair, even more so for those who didn’t chose the change in the first place.
And that’s where we’re at right now. Nobody chose to wake up to a new world shaped by a pandemic. No one asked for this. But here it is.
In the immortal words of Millenials everywhere who receive something necessary but somehow awful at the same time:
“Thanks, I hate it.”
A Complicated Relationship
Personally, I have a complicated relationship with change because of a very similar situation I went through. One in which I was forced to make myself anew against my will.
It all started maybe 8 years ago. I was 22. I was stupid. And I was in loooooove.
Or so I thought.
You see, I had fallen for someone almost 30 years older than me. This, as you can guess, didn’t work out in the long run (Thank. God.) but we lasted a couple years together. And those years were h-e-l-l for me.
I won’t bore you with the details but just know that due to the age difference there was a massive power imbalance in our relationship. He was arrogant, emotionally abusive, and treated me like a child most of the time. I was constantly made to feel like I had to change myself to get up on his level.
And so I would change. I would work hard to be the woman I thought he needed me to be – smart, educated, stable, and responsible. I didn’t drink, I didn’t party, I worked hard to impress him and win his love and affection.
But of course no matter how many times I improved or grew, I could never quite gain his respect as an adult. Of course this was not because I was not worthy of respect. It was because he was constantly playing games, moving the finish line every time I got close.
It never will be okay. I hate him to this day for hurting me. I have forgiven, but I will never, ever forget.
A Diamond That Would Rather Have Stayed Coal
But an interesting side effect of those hellish years was that I really did grow into a better person. I guess shooting for the stars landed me on the moon or something cliche like that.
I was forced to change and under that pressure I became a diamond.
Except I would have rather remained a dumb lump of coal if I had to do it again.
I wouldn’t wish that experience on my greatest enemy, even if I knew it would make them a better person in the end. It left me with scars on my soul that continue to damage my mental wellbeing to this day. I may be resilient but I’m closed off to a degree that makes it difficult to have a real relationship with others.
ACCepting An Unforgivable Sort of Change
And that’s what I’m thinking about today with the COVID Pandemic. Are we already seeing positive change in the world. Absolutely. We now have a chance to have a better world, remake it in a way we never could before.
But what’s the price for change?
Thousands of people will die, maybe millions. Many more will lose jobs, homes, family members, business and long held dreams. The price for change in this case, unlike my situation, is blood. Blood that’s non-refundable.
So knowing that, how the hell are we supposed to move forward from a global catastrophe?
Well, at the height of my issues with the ex, someone told me “the key to everything in life is acceptance.”
And he was not wrong. The day I began to embrace the good that came of the situation while acknowledging the horrors of it was the day I gained my freedom years after the nightmare was over.
Today, I deny nothing about the complicated situation – I use every part of the pain, the joy, the frustration, and the heartbreak to move on and help others.
That’s what we can do to move forward now. Accept that this is a vastly unfair situation that should never have happened. Accept that we were failed by governments, corporations, and capitalism and in turn that we failed our fellow human beings.
The way forward is that we must never, ever forget that our shiny new world was built on the suffering of others; while at the same time building a new society that specifically aims to eliminate that kind of injustice.
Or we could do the same we’ve always done and revisit these horrors again and again. The choice is yours.
As for me, I choose to accept the new world with it’s broken history and make it better than it was because I believe in you, in me, and us.
If you want to join me please contact your senator at https://www.senate.gov/senators/How_to_correspond_senators.htm to ensure they make changes YOU want them to make. Join and/or create a local Mutual Aid Network that helps your neighbors during this crisis: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/16/covid-19-mutual-aid-how-to-help-the-vulnerable-near-you. And when this is all over, help to rebuild the world better.
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