Life is evolving, progressing and changing. You wake up every morning and look out your window, but the view is never exactly the same as the day before. Sometimes change is small or gradual, like putting on nail polish or growing a flower. At other times, change creeps up behind you and knocks you on the head. Some changes are long in the making, like getting divorced or getting taller. Other changes are inevitable but can still manage to catch people off guard, like death and graduation. Change is the driving force behind life.
One new change I’ve been enjoying lately is my growing freedom. Well, it’s actually my older sister’s freedom, but I get to mooch. She got her license in the fall and has gotten to borrow my grandma’s car for a few months this winter. Along with her new independence and freedom come new responsibilities, such as paying for her own gas and driving herself to dance class and her job. I get the best sort of freedom out of the deal. I get freedom without responsibility. Occasionally, I have given her gas money or helped wipe snow off her car — but most of the time I just get spoiled.
A job can be a big source of change in someone’s life. It usually plays a large role in someone’s schedule and determines when he or she does everything else. A job gives a person responsibility and accountability. A job also comes with a paycheck. This definitely changes things. It’s different for all stages of life, but a job enables a person to do more than he or she did before. Losing a job negates all of this and therefore changes someone’s life, also.
Another big source of change is education. I have four family members involved in the college process. My mom is back in school to finish her degree. One of my sisters is transferring out of state. Another sister is receiving acceptance letters and making decisions. My brother-in-law is taking classes online to finish his master’s degree. I’m hunkering down for another two years of high school. My mom has different classes and schedules every semester. My brother-in-law is making time to do assignments and rearranging his schedule to do so. My sister, who is a senior, is about to decide on changes that will affect her for the rest of her life. My sister who is transferring, is going to have different classes, schedules, friends, professors and a completely new region of the country to tackle.
Being a member of a family shows me a lot of change. Aging and growing create change and conflict at all turns. My mom has four kids. At one point she had a kid, two toddlers, and a brand new baby. Now she has two teenagers, a young adult, and an adult. We are the people she sees every day and we are always changing. She is changing too though. She is influenced by her job, by her education, by her kids, and by everything she sees. Her almost-89-year-old dad is going to come live with us soon. This means mega changes that stem from his aging. Changes are made because of and for my young nieces, too. They live next door to us. We make small changes and big changes for them but we do it gladly because when we are 89, we know they’ll be there for us.
Change is necessary, healthy and sometimes difficult. Sometimes we wait and desperately hope for change. Other times we see change starting to happen and we will it to stop. Change is an enemy of perfection. If something is perfect now, in a matter of time something will change and throw it all off balance. If something needs to change, eventually it will, but it might not always change the way you want it to. To coexist with change you need to embrace it. Change is only one, a powerful one, but only one variable in the formula that is life.
Kate Ahearn is a sophomore at Unatego Junior-Senior High School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk