by Camille Abdel-Jawad | AmeriCorps VISTA 2018-2019
As a new school year creeps in, I’ve been thinking a lot about change.
As humans, we learn to despise change. To resent new beginnings for the anxiety it fills us with. We have this incessant need for things to stay the same for the sake of comfort, for the sake of being okay. We believe that if we stay in this moment forever, there’s no risk of getting hurt, no risk of being afraid.
New school years are full of change and, with that, fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the way we might be asked to change and grow. Fear of the days that will be difficult and uncomfortable.
But might I submit that being afraid, that fear and the way it manifests, isn’t such a bad thing. That fear of change, of the unknown, of the way we will grow has the potential to drive us, to empower us. And most of all, if we simply cling to the things in life that are stable and comfortable and unwavering, how might we continue to search for the things that are good and exciting and beautiful?
This school year, schools are ushering in new students just as I conclude my year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA. As I begin a new step in my own journey, students everywhere are preparing for the change and the challenges that new teachers and new classes and new places will submit. As we take a step towards the new moments life will offer, I am asking that you join me in reveling in the discomfort. That you bask in the way that change challenges you and asks you to submit a part of yourself that has been comfortable, that you let it be unraveled and made new. That you relish in the way that change demands that you be brave.
Because change can make life beautiful in new ways.
And as difficult as it can be sometimes, I think the reason I like change so much is that it offers an opportunity to rewrite your own story, to resist being a product of the things that have happened to you, things that have happened in the past. Standing at a crossroad between who you are now and who you will be become, I ask you to join me in being brave. I ask you to stand in the face of change and begin to let it change you.