The more things change…the more they stay the same. The phrase is attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who actually said: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose“—”the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”, usually translated as “the more things change, the more they stay the same,”.
Everyone views change differently.I’m going to go with my own definition of change. For me, change is pushing you (myself) out of your comfort zone. Change should be for the better; why would we change for the worst? (Current state of our Presidency aside). Change is uncomfortable and requires an adjustment period. To adapt to change we have to be flexible. And that flexibility isn’t easy. It can be more like a roller coaster ride with highs and lows where you anticipate the highs but fear the lows. When you welcome change with the highs and fear it with the lows, you have to adjust and understand the process of change. This brings me back to pushing myself out of my comfort zone. The lows of the roller coaster ride are the fears of what is outside of that zone while the highs are “Fuck, yeah, I did it!”
Change can be terrifying. If you choose to not change, you know where you stand, you know what will happen. You know how you will react and how others will react. And that’s like everyone being exactly the same and no one being different. You know the expectations and the outcomes. You have no surprises. You have THE SAME. Nothing changes. Change is terrifying, but it can bring new levels of comfort to you.
Change can be a choice and it can be forced upon you. I’ve had to deal with both. If you can’t let go – something I am guilty of – change has a ripping effect on you. Telling me to “just hang in there” when a change was forced upon me isn’t/wasn’t comfortable. But for someone to tell me that “you can make it” gave me insight that they see a courage and strength in me that I may have forgotten about. I know that change isn’t taken care of by crying or worrying or over thinking. Change is a choice that we need to make on our own. Change is strange at first. It should push you to do your best and show you that you had the strength to succeed.
Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
For me, I found I fought the new as well. I envisioned change to be one way, but I had tunnel vision and only saw the one way. Change effects not only you but the people around you. There were things I could not change no matter how hard I wanted too, and in the end, they changed me. To a degree not in a good way. So by me fighting to keep things the same, I ended up changing them in a bad way. I had to learn that there are things I can not change. Things that are out of my hands. I had to accept that .In some cases, I took out my frustrations on being able to change things on people I loved. They say the best form of an apology is changed behavior. I will always be thankful to the people I love for not leaving when it took me so long to change my behavior.
Another quote says that change is hard in the beginning – that is the understatement of a lifetime for me – then it becomes messy – trying to figure out how the change affects you – and glorious in the end. I’m at the “hard” stage of my changes. My changes are in the scary stage. I’m accepting all the things I wanted to change and couldn’t. Some of those have brought immense pain. But I can heal from that pain. I’m accepting the things that I can change. Those have brought some pain, but much joy as well. I’ve checked off many things from my comfort zone and found new things that need to be ticked off the list. I’ve made a lot of changes in the past two years to how I look, how I eat, to how I take care of myself.
The more things change; the more they stay the same….as explained on the TV show Everwood:
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it’s the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don’t think I’m alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it’s kind of everyone’s flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still… It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected… Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn’t seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You’re not a drug addict. You’re not killing anyone… Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don’t think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we’re like this different person. I think it’s smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn’t even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever… that you’ll never have to change again.
*Sting or Shakespeare would have agreed.