Change is a vast web made up of intricate, delicate silken strands, and we are the spiders that live upon it.
Each change we face connects one strand to another.
There may be multiple changes for us to face, multiple strands added, but what happens to us when they overwhelm us?
What happens when we’re met with an unexpected change, or we cannot manage the impact of that change?
A weak strand cannot hold.
When it cannot hold, at least eventually, it breaks.
The question we must consider here, however, is whether a broken string is ultimately good or bad.
Are the changes we face good or bad?
During my younger years, by which I’m referring to the time I spent in primary education, I was a lively (some might say “bossy”), extroverted child. I would smile until my face hurt, I loved to dance, and I wasn’t afraid.
That’s not strictly true – I was afraid of heights, but that’s about it.
Hell, if I wanted to recite one of my favourite childhood poems, ‘The Hairy Toe’ by Daniel Postgate, you can bet I was going to do it for a large, live audience!
When I finished my time at primary school, I was soon met with one of the biggest changes of my life.
I was moving onto secondary education, the consequence of which being that my best friend, the first I’d ever had, drifted away from me.
I had to make new friends, but that would be easy, right?
“Sophie is so good at making friends!”
Well, you can imagine my surprise when the personality I had been so known for then subsequently shifted, largely as a result of bullying by the students I envied. My hobbies, alongside my braces, weight and, strangely enough, large forehead had become popular topics of their name-calling and rumour-spreading.
Reaching Year 9 and desperately wanting to fit in, I cut and re-styled my hair, bought a host of what I felt were appropriate clothes for the current trends (emo/grunge) and expected to be welcomed with open arms.
That didn’t happen.
Nor did it happen at college.
With each change I faced, I was losing parts of me to an innate, human desire for acceptance. Only when I reached my final year at university did I have what I call a ‘personality epiphany.’
I had become so engrossed with finding ‘friends’ who thought I was ‘good enough’ for them, who preferred the façade beneath which I had concealed my real self, I had forgotten how brilliant I was!
By the end of my time there, I had come to realise my own worth and, like Thor, it was mighty.
So, while I have faced a great many changes throughout these past 27 years, both good and bad, I consider self-acceptance the greatest and most rewarding change I’ve experienced (so far).
And you know, I’m proud of me,
And you should be proud of you.
Never lose yourself to the preferences of someone else.