I’m sure many of us can agree that change makes us uncomfortable. Change means disruption to normal life patterns and habits, and this in turn can cause discomfort in our lives. I am certainly no exception. I am a person who treasures routine, order and structure; all of these things change targets. Recently I was listening to Emma Chamberlain’s podcast “Anything Goes,” which is a normal Thursday experience for me. One of her latest episodes “stepping out of your comfort zone” especially resonated with me, given an experience I went through recently, that involved unwanted change. I was forced to reassess my routines and the people in my life. I was forced to realize that I haven’t always taken control of my life because I’ve been apprehensive about change.
To make a long story short, recently I realized that I needed to step back from a friendship that felt like it was becoming codependent. We were both relying too much on the familiarity between us, and I realized I was missing out on other experiences due to this dependence. This experience has helped me to realize that too often I rely on what feels familiar to me: people, routines and situations. Because of this, I haven’t always been in control of my life, because I’ve been dependent on what feels comfortable to me. Dependency can look wildly different from person to person. Maybe you feel dependent on your phone, social media or a relationship. Enjoying all these things is not inherently toxic, it becomes a problem when you realize you don’t have boundaries. Social media can become toxic if you constantly feel like you are missing out on something when you don’t spend an hour scrolling or watching. A friendship can become toxic when you don’t want them to have other friends and vice versa. Toxicity is born out of dependency. And if you’re dependent on something-or someone- then it’s much more difficult to truly be in control of your life.
I definitely don’t have any answers as to how to move forward, resisting dependency. But these experiences have inspired me to be a more vocal advocate for myself. What I am learning is that the reason that change, for better or worse, makes me uncomfortable is because it requires growth. Saying no to party, stepping back from a friendship, reaching out to someone you want to know but don’t yet, whatever it may be, these are the experiences that you will learn something from.