Safety net girl.

After finishing a long and difficult semester, I finally managed to take some time out of my busy schedule to really think about what my plans are for next year. Now that I have finally achieved my goal of getting into UBC, I have to start thinking realistically about what my future is going to look like. As usual, I am having a hard time getting to it, mainly because I am a big chicken and dislike change.

Now, thinking about your future is a daunting task, and nobody will ever know the outcome until it’s happened. As my boyfriend always reminds me, the future is never promised, and there is no point trying to control every aspect of your life because things can change in an instant and you will have to adapt to the constant changes. Since my senior years of high school, I have been a person that absolutely dreads dramatic changes. (Hence my same boring hair cut that I’ve donned for the past 7 years… but I digress.) For me, change is simply terrifying and I have a hard time adapting to new environments. I am the type of person that likes to test out the waters before plunging straight ahead into the unknown. This is why I have aptly nick-named myself the “safety net girl”.

As you can imagine, being this type of person does have its setbacks. Maintaining a safety net around me has led to me hindering any type of major growth in life. Having lived in the same town and community for nearly all my life, I have grown to be the type of girl who likes being comfortable and sticks to the familiars. The closest thing that I do to spice up my life on a daily basis would be me taking a different bus route to work/school/home, or choosing a new meal at my favourite restaurant. Since I grasp onto as much familiarity as possible, I find it hard to take a step in a new direction. This trait of mine is actually one I really dislike about myself. It frustrates me to no end when I say I want to do something different, but end up doing the same thing over and over. Often times, it takes much persuading by close friends and family to get me to try something new and to have some courage in myself to do something I have never done before.

Fortunately for me, I have a great support group that understands my dislike for change and helps me ease into it, or sometimes, pushes me to make dramatic changes because they know it will be for the better.

However, there were some instances in my life where I decided to muster up some courage and take a step into the unknown. Surprisingly, I have gained many worthwhile and valuable experiences and relationships out of it. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I pushed myself to new horizons that I would have never encountered if I didn’t step out of my safety net. For example, I was never the type of girl to bluntly ask a guy I was romantically interested in if he shared mutual feelings. Luckily for me, my impatience and new-found boldness prompted my boyfriend to finally admit that he felt the same way about me. Although that dampened his original plans of how to tell me his feelings, I ended up getting together with a man who continues to support me in all aspects of my life and whom I love very much. (Cheesy aside: Dinel, if you’re reading this, I love you and thank you for being so insanely patient with me. I can’t stress enough how many best boyfriend awards you should win. Mwah).

Change is definitely something that I am beginning to learn isn’t all that scary. With new changes comes more opportunities for growth. With growth, comes more opportunities of becoming a better person, which is why I think I am trying to be more open and willing to change. I’d like to think that I am a good person, but I know that I could definitely be a better one if I were more willing to listen to others (namely my boyfriend, haha) and let life shape and mould me to becoming that better person. I realize that as scary as being in a new environment may be, it will eventually become something familiar and the scary feeling will eventually subside. More importantly, change will move me in different directions I would have never thought to go and allow me to discover either wonderful or terrifying things. Those things however, will most likely lead to memorable experiences and life lessons.

Being courageous is never an easy thing, especially if you are a person like me who finds it hard to adapt to change amidst this fast-paced life. However, I am beginning to learn that change can actually be a very good thing in life. As scary as the future may seem, it will only be intimidating if you let it. Your actions now will determine what your future is going to be like. Sometimes, you have to let go of your safety net and have a bit more faith in yourself that you will eventually find your way. Even though you may take some wrong turns and stumble a bit along the way, every experience is worthwhile because you always end up learning something. Even if that something is something small, you will be a smarter and wiser person than you were prior to that experience.

– P


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