I believe we have all had our fair share of trying to convince ourselves of something (positive or negative) only to discover that the outcome turned out completely different, perhaps maybe even quite opposite of the original thought. In other words, there are and will be times when we believe something to be true about ourselves and then realize our perceptions were a little off or somewhat distorted. For example, my 8-yr-old self believed she was a mermaid instantly once she hit the literally “breath-taking” ice-cold water at the pool on those hot, Georgian summer days, only to realize her tail was in fact two (not one), quite separate (but useful)…legs. Okay, so that was a bit of a stretch for an example…but on a more serious note, my now 19-yr-old self has come to the realization that change is not just about a chemical reaction in the oven (once dough has turned into a beautiful grease-dripping pizza…please excuse my typical Hobbit-like hunger at 2:30 in the morning…), or even getting three inches of hair chopped off my head, but that change is the definition of life itself.
They say you learn a lot about yourself in this beautiful mess we call life. Some learn quicker than others. I happen to be more of a “late bloomer” and a slow learner at that…(There is absolutely nothing wrong with that…after all, “Slow n steady wins the race!” (: ). Looking back to the younger Emily, I not only failed to realize how much change was actually occurring around me, but I also was blind in knowing something valuable about myself that I now have a greater understanding for. I do not like change. No one likes the change you find on the street or in your pockets, but I am not talking about that kind of change…I am talking about the little and big changes that play tag with the seasons every year. (Cheesy…I know, but who doesn’t like a little extra cheese with their pasta?? Actually, I don’t…so make that extra cheese on my pizza! (: Again, I’m your average – and hungry – college student!) My point being, I do not accept change very easily. I fell stubborn to admit this until recently. One might say I played an excellent “Oedipus” in this play…except this play happened to be life! Go-figure…
I underwent a number of changes throughout the few years I’ve had on this planet. Warning: It starts getting sappy here…Being adopted from Russia at age two, I had to stumble into a new culture and depend on two complete strangers to care for me (and my adopted, handicap brother) and bring me up in this world. Being so young, this was not exactly difficult, considering the fact I did not know who my biological parents were. Sure, I have stumbled upon the thoughts of who my real parents were and why I was placed up for adoption, but I like to believe that I am here in my Georgia, ranch-style house for a reason – because God wanted this and it is all a part of His plan!
Now, I thought having a brother in a wheelchair was normal. I’m not gonna lie, I would often feel embarrassed when people stared or were afraid when he started throwing one of his tantrums. Other than that, Andrew and I got along as young kids. We would often find ourselves playing all sorts of imaginary games such as using forts to play “house.” We would also get ourselves into trouble like when we locked ourselves in my bedroom closet (the lock was on the outside!). Of course we had our distant years when I was the mean older sister who ignored her little brother when friends were over or when she wanted to go out. But after recently losing our father about a year and a half ago to the battle of cancer, I can now say we are two steps ahead from where we were as awkward teen siblings… We get along much better and I would say have grown closer.
Rewinding to when I was seven years old, I lost my mother right before I entered the second grade. – Don’t worry, I promise this is not all depressing!! – I would say this was a pretty tough change for me. For all of us. Dad had to learn how to be two parents in one and still function as a normal human being. For a good year, I was not fun to be around due to my cranky and “biopolar” emotions. But as time progressed, it became the norm for me not to have a mom around. My aunt and my godmother did well and stepped up to the plate to be mother-figures for my brother and me, especially through the times when my personal hygiene was out of wack (Don’t worry, I don’t smell anymore thanks to my gazillion Bath and Body Works products and men’s deodorant! Sharon is a witness… Jussayin, “Old Spice” is where it’s at…)!
Don’t worry, I promise this novel is wrapping up!!
Now, my most recent change would have to be my transition to college. Most teens go through this and for some it can be a breeze like a baby bird flying out of its nest, whereas for some like me, it can be like the Holy Spirit came by with a 2×4 out of the blue and woke me up! I can now say I survived my first year of finding new friends, sleepless nights, limited laundry – and space! – unlimited coffee dates, and the undying myth of getting a ring by spring! The hardest part was not being able to call my dad on those tough nights, but hey, I made it through! That’s an accomplishment, after all! Not only that, I went from being undeclared to declaring social work as my major and psychology as my minor. (:
But as I lie on my stomach in the opposite direction on my bed typing this (and wrapping this up, I promise!), I can say that I have indeed come a long way from where I started (Not to make this all about me – I promise I don’t mean to come off that way!) My whole point of this story was to share that life throws changes at you from every angle. Some angles are bad just like every movie has its share of bad angles, but you learn to make art out of it. A quote I like goes a little like this: “Life is like photography. You develop from the negatives and if you don’t like it, take another shot.” Sometimes that small step you may have to take is simply accepting that you need help from someone other than yourself. After all, we are human beings (well, boys…eh…kidding!!) and as imperfect as we are, we are created to rely on one another and help one another. One key ingredient in making life taste a lil better, is accepting change. I’m not saying you have to agree with everyone else and not form your own opinions, but it does help to have a little more flexibility when it comes to changes and life. I could write a whole ‘nother blog on life itself, but to sum it up, Life is beauty. Life is scary. Life is change.
Now, how ’bout accepting change for a change? Give it a try. You can do it. I believe in you. (: