I have a really hard time with change; as I feel most of us do in most situations. Even if the change is good, it takes time for me to adjust and at times struggle before I can get my mind around it and move forward. For me, I am a creature of habit and if something doesn’t go 100% according to plan the gears that are still working in my mind will halt and it seriously throws me through a loop. I would like to feel that I am not completely crazy and hope that I share this craziness with others out there.
The big question is why does change scare us so much? It could be a change in job, finding out your pregnant for the first time, your favorite television show being cancelled, or even something like going to Panera bread to ask for a BBQ chicken flatbread only to find out they are out of flatbread and you wonder why they are called Panera BREAD when they run out of flatBREAD and have to get Italian bread instead……..like I said I don’t handle change very well.
My theory is that we as human beings love familiarity and like going with what we are comfortable with. Think about it, that’s why most people go McDonalds when they want fast food, Starbucks for coffee, or Krispey Kreme for donuts. Now does McDonalds have the best burgers? I think we can all agree that they don’t. But McDonalds is one of the biggest international fast food stores because of its affordability and the fact that its familiar to us. We don’t want to risk eating a crappy burger so we go to McDonalds because we know it will at least be eatable.
I believe change scares us because of the unknown and that we are scared to see whats around the corner. Even if the change could be for the better it scares the crap out of us. I myself have gone through a lot of change in the last couple of years and although it has been a rough process, I feel as if the change has been for the better.
Back in the December of 2015, I was a grad student who was halfway through getting my Master’s degree. I had already received my teacher’s license in May of that same year. I decided to forgo, applying for a job and go on ahead and get my Masters while I was still in school mode. I had made up in my mind that I would apply for teaching jobs after I finished my masters. But just like anything, nothing ever goes according to plan. My adviser who was in charge of my student teaching cohort told me of a Middle School (yes I am mainly a middle school teacher) opening in a school over an hour away in a county I had never heard of before. I would be lying if I wasn’t nervous because I had a particular school system I wanted to work in after I got my masters and if I got the job then I would have to put my masters degree on hold.
I decided to at least interview and I surprisingly got the job mid-year. The next three years were some of the best of my life. The relationships I made and the kids I got to work with were some of the most amazing people. I also experienced great success teaching 8th and 7th graders and I felt that it made me the teacher that I am today.
As time went on, my wife got a job at a neighboring school system teaching 5th grade English. For a full year we went to different school systems. While my wife drive 30 mins to school, I was driving an hour. It was very draining on both of us because I also coached football while I was at my school. After the first year of us being married, an opening came open at the high school in my wife’s school district. I interviewed but didn’t get the job and thought that I would begin another year teaching at the middle school. About two weeks later, the high school I interviewed with called me and offered me a job to teach 9th and 10th grade history. I was told that they wanted me to come work for them but they needed an answer in 24 hours.
Those 24 hours were one of the hardest decisions in my life. On one hand, if I stayed at the middle school, I knew everyone there and I knew that I would have a pretty easy time teaching. On the other, I would receive a pay increase and I would be able to commute with my wife and therefore spend more time with her. I made lists, I debated externally and internally, and I talked to everyone I knew. I decided to take the job at the high school and work in the same school system as my wife. I am not exaggerating in saying that I cried for a solid hour after that because I was changing a huge part of my life and moving to a place I knew nothing about.
This past year was the most challenging year of my teaching career. Although it was difficult, it forced me out of a comfort zone that I had formed around myself at the middle school. As time went on while I was at the middle school, I could tell I became too relaxed, too easy going, and too confident. I wasn’t as focused as I should have been and it showed in my student’s performance.Being moved into a new environment that I wasn’t comfortable with forced me out of that comfort zone and made me go above and beyond what I thought I was capable of. The beginning of that school year was hard but the end of it helped me be a better teacher.
In summation, change is not always a bad thing. A fear of change can be a defense mechanism against things that can harm us. Or…….it can imprison us from becoming the people we were meant to be. Change can free us from the chains of monotony and bring different experiences in our lives. Change can be the thing that takes us to another level that we couldn’t achieve before. Now after you read this, I’m not saying for you to quite your job or participate in the next fast money scheme. All I am saying is to be open to the change and embrace life as it sends you those curve balls. So maybe next time when Panera Bread runs out of flat bread, maybe you can try that Italian bread; you might just like it better………….maybe………
Homework, think of a time when you took a leap of faith and embraced change. Did you become stronger for it or did you regret that change.
Thank you all so much for the love and support for my blog. Sorry for the wide gap in writing, things in life have been crazy and I haven’t had much time to write. If you like what you read then check out some of my other stuff!
“What To Do With all This Stress?
This about work related stress and how I deal with it
“What is your why?”
This is about why you do what you do and the reasoning behind your decisions
This about work stress and why we let the pressure get to us.