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The Importance of Change

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When I was young, my family owned a beat-up old couch. The couch was nothing out of the ordinary: it was a simple floral-print loveseat that had somehow survived the wear and tear that only a toddler can provide. The time came, however, when my parents realized that the family room needed a full-scale furniture upgrade. The couch had to go. Despite the legitimacy of their concerns about the worn appearance of the family room, I resented their choice to upgrade and alter the furniture set that I had grown to love and cherish. Although the entire room was about to be changed, the couch was the one piece of furniture I was most adamant about keeping. The couch was ideal in my eyes. It was broken in just enough to jump on, and its floral print was perfect for hiding juice and food stains. Looking back, my parents were right to replace the couch. It was full of holes, and there were so many stains that the floral print could no longer hide the fact that the couch had been misused. I now realize, however, that it was not the replacing of the couch that upset me so, but the fact that my life was being altered in some way. In other words, I was experiencing change.

In my earlier years, although I was unaware of it, I was afraid of change. Content with things the way they were, I saw no reason for change, and thus, I resented and feared it. I was afraid of changing schools, of leaving and making new friends, and I was completely petrified by the idea that as I grew, change was inevitable. I must admit that I wanted to remain a child forever. As time continued on, however, I realized that not only were things changing around me, but I was also subject to change, regardless of whether I was a willing participant or not. Throughout middle and high school, I lived in a limbo of sorts, not knowing whether to look forward or back, until the summer of my senior year, when I was forced to seriously consider for the first time how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I had never before been faced with the concrete idea that moving on would actually occur. College had always seemed to be a distant and unreal future, but with the comings and goings of the college process, I began to slowly accept that life was, in fact, continuing on. Of course the thought occurred to me that, in a perfect world, I would be able to remain suspended in time, continuing high school and enjoying teenage freedom, but I had to eventually abandon that idea as an impossibility. As I approached the close of the summer before senior year, I began to realize that my longing for the past would never disappear. It is a natural feeling. Nonetheless, change was happening to me and all around me, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It was with that realization that the truth became clear to me: I could not live in the past for the rest of my life. Change, although disorienting, is necessary, and it is nothing to be feared. I found myself much altered I light of that realization. Although at times I still long for the comforts of an everlasting childhood, I have realized that the future is an unexplored terrain, not dangerous or frightening, but exciting and novel, something to be truly looked forward to.

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