Saturday, March 1, 2014

Handling Change: Lessons I Should've Learned in High School

Since I officially have five work days left before I am a full time writer, I'm thinking a lot about life transitions. I'm not over-the-top excited to be taking this step, but this is a lifelong dream, and I should be thrilled! What's my deal? I realized this morning that this is like a bit of a graduation for me. Funny thing is, leaving high school (and college, for that matter) didn't bother me. So, I began thinking about high school and wondering what makes this "graduation" similar.

I've heard high schoolers talk like life is basically going to be over once high school ends. Isn't that how we are as humans? We get so focused on and invested in whatever we're in the middle of at any given moment that we don't stop to consider that things won't always be the way they are now and that they can *actually* get better. I didn't particularly enjoy high school, so I didn't fall into this then, but now I catch myself thinking negatively about what this change will mean. Thankfully, just writing this out and realizing I'm being unreasonably pessimistic puts things into perspective. Change can be good!

Graduating seniors also face an identity transition. Many of them are leaving behind roles in band, drama, choir, sports, and clubs. There's no guarantee that these identities will welcome them in college or the workplace. Likewise, leaving my job is giving up an identity I've been cultivating for years. I worked hard. To walk away from that is to walk away from a big part of how I see myself. The key to overcoming this one is to put my identity back where it should've been all along: in Jesus. He is my only constant, my only security, and my only hope. Why would I tie my idea of who I am to anything less?

The nice part about high school is that we start it knowing it'll last four years and then we'll be on our way. We know when we're done. Things like careers and relationships and success are a bit fuzzier. Is it really time to move on? A friend mentioned this morning the idea of developing a personal life mission statement. I like that idea. That would be a good way to have something to consider when measuring whether or not it's time to "graduate" to the next step in life. Of course, there's also prayer and godly counsel, and the leading of the Holy Spirit, which I relied on when I first made the decision to pursue writing. Remembering that this is how I ended up facing my graduation ceremony is encouraging, too.

How does graduation end? Why, with a party of course! Here and now, I'm making up my mind to be optimistic, to find my identity in my Savior and not my job title, and to trust the graduation date I've been given. My life is to be a celebration.

How do you celebrate a new chapter?

Love,
Your Sister

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