An old boss of mine regularly made the bold claim that “Change is good.” At the time I was working in recruitment, a notoriously fickle industry and in a company with high staff turnover. Every time someone left, (which was often in the two years I worked there), she would make this declaration with a cheerful and forceful tone. It was a statement of finality. That person is moving on and so must we. Onwards and upwards. I understood the sentiment. Change can be good. Change is progress, change is new opportunities, change is inevitable. However, that kind of change hurts and I remember feeling the loss profoundly every time another person walked out the door for the last time. They would be gone from my everyday life and more often than not, we’d lose touch completely.
When I think back to a year ago, I had a group of people around me who felt like family. New friends, all linked in some way to my business, so could be considered colleagues but were much more to me than that. Today, none of them remain in my life. Some of them turned out to be not very nice people (see Snake Charming), while others drifted away for no real reason. I have been feeling dismayed by these losses and the reasons / lack of reasons for the changes.
What I’ve realised is that any time a person leaves my life, it feels like a death. That may sound dramatic, I mean I could pick up the phone and speak to any of my former friends and colleagues but the reality is that it doesn’t happen. People I confided in and who knew me inside out have moved on. I have lost those people and what they bought to my life, whether it was ultimately negative or positive, they are gone and it upsets me as I grieve the good times.
I’m consoled by looking back at every change in my life and seeing that the old cliche is true: as one door closes, another door opens. Every change of place, job, friendship and relationship has moved me on to another chapter of life. At the time, I’m sad, I mourn what once was, but something new and exciting always happens next. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it happens instantly but either way, something good happens. So, if I’m taking past experience as a good indicator of the future, I just need to go through the grief of losing this group of people and get to the other side, where there will be a newness that could only happen because of the experience of loss.
Is change sometimes sad? Is it sometime scary? Is it sometimes horrible? Yes, yes and double yes. I hate to say it, but Susan, you were right, change is good. It may happen more often than we’d like and it may feel like nothing good can ever come from it but in the long run, it is always good and it is always character building 😉