Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Can you go a day without change?

There is a saying that only two things in life are certain: death, and taxes. While there is a certain amount of truth to that, I can simplify things even further. I say only one thing is for certain on any given day: life is going to surprise you. I have spent almost my entire life living with that knowledge, and that is why I have been so adaptable to new environments and changing circumstances.

On any given day, for any number of reasons, you may suddenly find yourself in a completely unfamiliar situation, absolutely without warning. This has happened to me on many occasions, and I’m sure it has happened to you quite recently. Sometimes, these surprises will be small, and will be dealt with and digested in a matter of seconds. Other times, more serious and larger surprises can take days, or even weeks to process.

The best thing I ever came up with to deal with these daily occurrences is to remind myself constantly that I cannot take anything for granted. The second you get comfortable with something in the world, it can be yanked away from you, and you will be stuck wondering what you could have done to avoid the surprise, or to see it coming.

The fact is, you can see surprises coming. If you keep that simple fact in mind, the only thing that will catch you briefly off-guard on a given day will be what particular fact you took for granted will be changing on that specific day.

This is the very specific reason that I choose to live my life knowing that by the end of that day, I might lose something or someone that is very important to me. I have lost jobs, friends, family, opportunity, you name it. I lost a whole year of physical activity to a knee injury that took less than a second to occur, and three years later I still worry every day about what I would do if that happened again.

When you find something that you know is right, you absolutely need to chase that for all it’s worth, and do everything you can to keep it in your life. You need to trust your instincts, and believe that what is best for you isn’t necessarily what you have right now.

If you are with somebody you love right now, hold them tight and tell them just how much they mean to you. Life means a constant flux, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. The second you stop resisting surprise, and accept that the world will never get to perfect, the better your life will be for it, and the happier you’ll become.

Don’t try to prevent surprises from coming up, try to accept they will happen, and learn to ride the waves of change.