I’ve never been someone who handled change well. For as long as I can remember, I would do my best to plan out my future to ensure that I would be able to prepare for what was coming. Despite loving the idea of spontaneity, I feared change.
At the beginning of my senior year, my dad told me that there was a job offer in Washington for him, and because his job search hadn’t been going well, he decided to give it a try. Neither of us were fond of the idea, because the thought of moving to the Coeur d’Alene Idaho area, which is drastically different from the Bay, was the last thing on my mind. My family was supposed to stay here, and I was supposed to go to my dream school in Malibu like we had always planned.
A month later, my parents and brother traveled to Idaho, giving my dad a chance to visit the company and do a quick interview. Originally, he had no intention of taking it too seriously, however, my dad soon after found out that he had gotten the job.
I remember feeling like everything around me was falling apart — the perfectly planned future I had in mind was headed in different directions, and I was struggling to adapt to this change. My dad, one of the closest people in my life, was taking on this job that would require him to live in Idaho for weeks at a time, only coming home for weekends or holidays.
It felt like the end of the world. This would mean that my family would have to move out of my childhood home to an unfamiliar area after I graduated. This would mean being states away from my family if I wanted to stick to my pre-planned college dream. This would mean a huge change.
I had a hard time dealing with this change, and I found myself frustrated over the smallest things. Thinking about the transitions that were about to come: having three people at home instead of four, not getting to see my dad every day, not being able to tell him about my day, and of course, moving away. I knew my dad was sad about it too, and of course it would be hard for my mom and my brother, which is why it didn’t make sense to me as to why we were doing it.
I began accepting these changes by looking into schools in Washington instead of California. I was never good at change, and I was so fearful about how I was going to handle the future. I wanted to be there for my family, but It was still hard to give my mind a chance to adjust.
I didn’t want to come home from college just to go back to a place that didn’t feel like home, which is a hard emotion to verbalize. I put up this wall that blocked out reality. When we went to visit Idaho, I tried to point out all the flaws instead of letting myself see opportunity, and later, I realized that this was my way of dealing with change.
I kept hearing that change could be good; I knew that, but I couldn’t get myself to like it. I wanted my life to stick to how it was planned out, yet the path was changing. I was scared, but I also realized something. I realized that if there was no change, there was no opportunity. Sometimes, opportunity didn’t come the way you expected it, but it was still there.
A few months later, I had gotten rejected from my forever dream school in Malibu, and I was surprisingly okay with it. At that point, I had already shifted my interests to other opportunities — it wasn’t meant to be. I started to live by the motto that everything happens for a reason, which really helped keep my mindset more positive. I was excited about the change and opportunities that I had coming for me in college, but I still struggled with the idea of moving.
While moving is still something hard for me to fully accept, I’ve adjusted and grown more in the past six months than I have in most of my life. The next time I went to visit Idaho, I found myself smiling more, experiencing more, and reflecting more. I knew that change was always going to be a part of life, but so was growing.
In fact, change can be valuable. If my mom never decided to change and move from China to America, she would’ve never met my dad and we would never have been lucky enough to live here. If I never tried to change, I would’ve never joined the cheer team, the track team or El Estoque, because none of that was intended in my initial plan when entering high school. But now, they’ve become some of the best parts of my high school experience.
Change is still hard for me, and I still have moments where I find myself thinking of ways to avoid it. However, after looking back on where I was six months ago and where I am now, I see so much change within myself. I am constantly searching for ways to make myself stronger, and I finally see how much change is needed to play a part in that. I feel like I’m continuously improving my story, and finally finding myself.