Everyone knows that life comes at you fast. Things can change overnight. It happens often and each time we feel knocked off our feet for a moment (or longer). You’ll wake up one morning and life will look different, or be different. Maybe the walls of your bedroom are different. Maybe your entire life direction is different. Maybe you changed your major or got engaged or moved to a new city. These kinds of changes require a period of adaptation.
Here is an example: I recently moved back home. I’m in my last semester of college and commuting for the first time. There was about a day between deciding I should move home and the moment I found a subleaser. That day happened a week before school started. This was a huge, unexpected change. And the night I knew I had a subleaser I cried and felt stressed and afraid. But then I moved home, set up my room and now I am thriving. There was about a week of that high energy, “So much is changing and I am really I’m scared.” And then that faded as I acclimated to my new surroundings and lifestyle. People knew what was happening and they were able to support me, help me, and ask me how I’m doing. And I still struggle sometimes, but in general humans are good at adapting to external change.
Life comes at you fast, but sometimes no one even knows. There is another kind of change that is silent and much harder to adapt to: internal change. Sometimes external changes and internal changes work together. Sometimes they don’t. For example, let's say you get in a bad car accident. For a while you might have anxiety surrounding driving or being in a car. Friends and family will notice this change. “She didn’t used to be anxious about driving, she has changed” someone might say. But other times, there is no clear indicator of the change or of the cause. This could be you feeling like two years into a relationship you aren’t in love anymore. Maybe you are realizing past traumas. Recently, I have been dealing with something really difficult. I’ve carried a weight around for a while. For a long time no one knew. My inner landscape was in shambles. I was confused and scared and most of all, I was lonely. I felt this huge shift. I remember thinking, “I feel like my life has changed and no one even knows.” This is the killer part, and why internal changes are so difficult. Loneliness sets in.
So if you are dealing with this, I’m here to say if you can tell someone what you’re dealing with, do it. It takes a lot of bravery to disclose personal, painful things. But if you have someone you can trust, the weight that is off your shoulders is unimaginable. It's easier to deal with change with people by your side. And if you love someone, watch them closely. Because even if your friend, child, or partner could be silently going through something, things tend to show in small ways. Change is difficult, but remember that you are built to adapt. It will take time but you will get there. Let loved ones and professionals help you. Know that even in the darkest of times, when you’re angry, confused, or troubled, God knows what’s going on. And even if you can’t imagine why, he knows why. That can be a comfort, if you let it. Also, listen to “Overnight” by Maggie Rogers, and when you hear her sing “'Cause people change overnight, Things get strange, I'm alright” know that it's true.