Change, sometimes unwanted, is usually necessary for the formation of our self identity. It defines us and affects how we act in certain situations. Every part of our personality has been influenced by the changes in our lives. But as human beings, we are characteristically averse to change, may it a be a minor hiccup in our daily routine or the uprooting of our current lifestyle. Even though it is difficult to confront change, we must embrace it and allow it to redefine us. Many people I have come across have been hurt by change, but in the long run, their lives usually were improved by the minor offset they faced. What uproots us or our comfort also makes us stronger. And once we accept this idea, we can begin to crave change and realize it was the best outcome we could’ve encountered.
I’ve always embraced change as a new adventure. A new story to add to my life. At 16, I experienced one of the largest changes anyone could embark on. I left home to study abroad and it proved to be an experience I would not only change my perspective, but also change the way I behaved.
It was the summer before my junior year of high school and I was two weeks from starting a new school in the Dominican Republic. I never anticipated what it would be like to be without the safety net my parents were for me, even though I would now be living with my grandmother. But I craved adventure more than safety and I knew the only way of assuring it would be to leave that small town in Texas, leaving behind the people whom I love most.
I decided to embrace change in order to grow. And not only did I get closer to my mom’s family, but I lived my life in a way I couldn’t have in Texas. This experience strengthened my self efficacy and introduced me to some people I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
What I learned most about change is managing how it effects your identity is much harder than I imagined. But I was so strong willed and independent, I thought I could live through anything. In many ways, the grass was greener in my new life, however, I missed the simple comfort of coming home to me parents and seeing my dogs every night. I missed my brothers, but most of all I missed some of the old parts of myself. The important thing to maintain through change is a sense of self. And without knowing who you are or being confident in your actions, the road to growth only proves more difficult.
After the initial difficulties of change, I began to manage my behavior more effectively and somehow retrieved those parts of myself I thought I had lost. However, this is only accomplished through growth and the idea we are in control of our own environment. Sometimes people forget how important our environment is on our perception of the society we live in and the manner in which we live. Once I figured out my environment was a bubble, I was able to separate myself from the trivialities of my new home.
Change is scary. It disrupts our lives, alters our behavior but it also forces us to develop our identity and face whatever situation we are in with the sense twe can only get better once we’ve been through it.