On Change

There is a quote attributed to Maya Angelou that reads:

“If you don’t like something, change it.
If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Don’t complain.”

Recently, I was faced with this choice. At a transition period in my life, I could either remain high strung and constantly stressed out or I could start letting go and enjoying life. I’m very happy I chose the latter. It has been extremely liberating for me to let go of my worries and just let things work out in their own time. I can’t rush everything; I can’t have everything at my will. There are still uncertainties and I still certainly worried and continue to worry every so often about what is to come. However, I know that it will do me no good in many cases.

I know that change scares a lot of people. I used to be one of them. I decided  sometime during college that change was too common to fear. To me, it seems a waste of time to fear what you cannot control. I watched myself and my friends fail classes and have to restructure everything because of it. We’ve struggled with paying for the next semester and if or how we were going to make it work. I’ve watched friends change majors and even universities. I’ve watched friends delay graduation to take more classes or more opportunities, or even based on pure necessity. Change is all around us and it happens far more frequently than we realize.

Change is most obvious when seasons change, both literally and figuratively. But literal seasons aren’t the same everywhere. Summer and winter occur at opposite times in each hemisphere. Some countries have twice as much sunlight as others. Some locations have half as large of a temperature differential between seasons as others. Just the same, in a given person’s life no season is equal to someone else’s. In order for anybody to be supported during a season, you first have to know your season and own your season. There will be people to guide you always, but nobody can stand behind you and hold you up until you stand behind yourself and take the first step.

Change is a very difficult thing to accept, and I don’t know that anybody ever completely does. All that can be done is taking the proper steps in the right direction. Almost everybody I have talked to has described me as a strong willed, grounded, woman who knows what she wants and gets it. This is true, but there are times when I get lost in the midst of change and worry and don’t know who I am or what I want. It happens even to the best of us. However, taking a step back and looking at my life, where I am and where I’m going, I see that change is absolutely essential for me right now. It does me no good to dwell on what the perfect solution is, because it’s probably not going to happen. It doesn’t need to happen; I know that whatever happens it will work out in the end.


Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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