The Dairy Queen up the street closed the other day. It had been there in the middle of the shopping center parking lot for 25 years. I’ve lived down the hill for 17 of those years and have purchased many a Reese’s peanut butter cup Blizzard from that DQ. I’m sad to see it go. It was nice to know that any time we wanted one, a cool treat was waiting for us right up the street. I drove by its dark, empty windows last night and was overcome with a sense of melancholy.
The older I get, the more I realize change makes me uncomfortable – sometimes unbearably so. It gives me this buzzing in the pit of my stomach. It’s weird. Something I’ve learned, though, is that the only thing we can count on is that we can count on nothing. Change is inevitable and constant.
When I look at my life, I see how each change within it brought me to the next chapter. College brought me my teaching career. Marriage brought me my kids, and a cross-country move, and the most painful heartbreak I’ve ever experienced. Divorce brought me independence and healing. Dating brought me an exquisite love I didn’t expect. Each change brings its own outcome – sometimes blissful, sometimes excruciating.
I hold onto things stubbornly and often want them to remain the same. I find comfort in the safety of familiarity, but change is necessary for us to evolve. It can level us up if we let it. In the end, we get what we make of each change that’s thrown our way. We can use it for pain, or we can use it for gain – maybe sometimes a little of both.
I think change will always make me uncomfortable. I try to roll with it now though. I ask myself, “What can I learn from this change? How will this help me grow?” I’m learning to get comfortable with that weird buzzing in my gut.
Maybe I’m just hungry for a Blizzard.