Since you all seem to LOVE Andrew’s insights into life I think today is the perfect time to post his newest piece on change. In order for this to make sense I need to give you a little frame of reference regarding our latest move. We loved our last apartment and attempted to buy it. I was excited to be able to stay put and already had all my designs ready for the loft space. Well, come to find out the owner committed a version of mortgage fraud (and looks like he’ll get away with it) therefore making it impossible for us to buy it. This devastated me in a big way. Boston real estate is INSANE- there is less on the market, but that which is is a FORTUNE. We looked to buy something else, were outbid (over asking price) on several properties and then realized we’d have to rent again while we continued looking, which is stressful. Add to that the fact that NO ONE wants to rent to people with puppies (come on!!!) our options were limited as time was ticking. We found a place that was way more than we wanted to spend but it had a lot of what we needed and took dogs. So we signed a lease. We moved in yesterday and I’m not very happy there. My surrounding affect me GREATLY, and spending my days designing gorgeous homes only to come home to a place I don’t really like it very tough on me. So needless to say, my past 48 hours have been spent in the fetal position driving Andrew INSANE because he is Mr. Glass is Half Full and is not bothered by this much at all, instead sees this as part of the great adventure that is life. He is great with change and risk- he;s has several careers, moved many time to different states and loves a challenge, I on the other hand have never left New England and am comforted by security and stability. We are so different in times like this, and that alone is fascinating- so I asked him to write about change not only for you, but for me too!
One of the things that scares Erin the most is change. I think a lot of people are scared of, or at least adverse to, change. Of course there are varying levels of change and people have varying thresholds of acceptable change, but in general, change tends to cause stress and anxiety in people’s lives.
I am personally one of those who do not shy away from change but tend to look forward to and get excited by it. It feels like major change presents major opportunities and new experiences. I like that. But I get why not everyone feels like me. There is comfort and stability in the known. It is less scary. Most people would agree that going to a party where you know people is better than going to one where you don’t know anyone.
I would like to make the case for going to the latter party.
The type of change that I am referring to is usually a large event like moving, getting married or a new job, although I am sure there are plenty of examples of smaller events that cause just as much anxiety. Erin and I just finishing our move gave us the opportunity to have this “conversation” about why she gets so worked up over change.
Neither of us could actually come up with any definitive reasons why she did or why I didn’t which was irritating to both parties. It really boiled down to our approach to change, and more broadly life. She is looking at our new place thinking that it is more expensive, has no parking, low ceilings, no central AC, no microwave and not enough storage. I on the other hand see the gourmet kitchen, large second bedroom, incredible location, beautiful patio and surround sound speakers in the living room. She moves in and feels trapped and that every little thing that is wrong will never get fixed and plague us for eternity. I think it’s a rental so we are only here as long as we want and I will call the owner to have that stuff fixed. Sounds better than owning in most cases.
Even the moving process we look at completely different. I see it as a great time go through our stuff and get rid of things, re-organize, etc. She is of the opinion this could be the worst thing she has ever done. I look forward to putting some music on, wearing old clothes, and working together to go through everything. She is terrified of what music I will play, my old clothes (**rightfully so- note from Erin) and uprooting.
She builds the case for the prosecution and I build one for the defense. All before any of it has happened.
As with most things, when we look back at the major changes we have endured over our lifetime, what we built up in our head, whether positive or negative, was exaggerated. Going out on a limb, I would wager that most of you who are team Erin can look back and say these changes were ultimately positive for you. Even the ones that didn’t turn out so great made you smarter and better for it. Right?
Change is inevitable and necessary. We don’t progress as a person or as a people without venturing into the unknown, changing things up, and trying new things. Life isn’t meant to always be stable and comfortable. That’s boring. Change can be invigorating when things are going badly or when they are perfect. As I have said before, it is all in how you approach it.
If you were let go from your job today what would you do? Would you retreat from life, feeling it has beaten you down, and go into a funk? Or would you take this opportunity, albeit forced, to change your life for the better. If you are getting married this weekend are you scared about having to spend the rest of your life with one person? Or are you excited by the fact that you get to spend the rest of your life with one person.
Change is the way forward in life. Don’t fight it. When it is for the better embrace it. When it is a step backward, make it so that it is to take two forward.