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My Open Letter to Change

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Dear Change,

I'm horrified of you.

I'm writing with suitcases packed and my flight tickets booked. For winter quarter sophomore year I'll be studying with a program in our nation's capitol. I worked tediously on my application for the opportunity, countless hours compiling recommendations and combing over my "why you should choose me" essay.

And then what I least expected happened. I was accepted.

Cue the cheers that should have erupted and the choir that should have sung and the balloons that should have fallen from the ceiling. I should have rested my tired eyes on the acceptance letter and rewarded myself with a restful night sleep.

I was grateful, humbled that I got in. Yet I began to have second thoughts about if I wanted to spend my quarter away from the school I had fallen in love with.

You're hidden in the frustration of feeling content and then having to pry clenched fingers off of a tightly gripped normalcy that's been groomed and maintained.

You seem to bound into life when you're least wanted. When I'm happiest and fulfilled and believe I have it figured out, you cartwheel in to take control. You're known to be acquainted with that dear friend of yours fear. You two work together to create suspense, which maliciously teases my eyes with anticipation of the future.

It's so easy to see what I feel like I'm losing to your skilled hands, and so hard to discern everything you will give in return.

Lao Tzu said, "Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."

I am the strongest believer that everything happens for a reason. Yet things are easier said than done. It's so difficult to let you, change, be an active agent in my life. My days are filled with happiness I feel I have worked so hard to create.

Maybe it's because the last time we were confronted you wreaked havoc. You accompanied me as I started college and began my 850-mile journey from home. I was unhappy as I sat in my freshman dorm room. I blamed inviting too much of you into my life for my initial misery.

It took months for me to feel like I made the right decision. It took hours in the library, 9 p.m. walks for Italian food, a lot of tear-stained calls to my mom and some amazing, new friends.

It took late-for-class shuffling, hold-my-hand flirting, let's-be-adventurous detouring down the main road through campus.

Why would I want to invite you into my life when I am happy with the circumstances I waited for so long to arrive?

With my days on campus for 2015 over and only weeks away from sleeping in a bed a 12 hour road trip from my dorm room, I'm beginning to think you might not be so bad afterall.

Change, with you might come fear and anxiety, but I also know you will bring excitement and ambition. You're here, standing in front of me with your backpack slung over your shoulder, ready for the long months ahead -- whether I like it or not.

I can welcome your outstretched arms or struggle against your embrace.

So I've decided to forgive you for the past and think of you as travel companion for what lies ahead. I realize you made me stronger, even though your force at first steamrolled my emotions.

Now is the time of my life I should be welcoming you to show me the world's wonders and push me to my limits.

Now is the time to realize I can create my happiness in more than just one place and that I need your help to do so.

My Best,

Tyler Kendall