Family Navigator Blog

Change and Control

Question: How do you let go?

Control. You don't have it and you desperately crave it. You have it but you don't want it. You think you have it but you don’t. You know you don't have any but you really do. It’s complicated.

I decided to marry a man who was in the Navy. That was my decision. I knew that we might end up having to move somewhere not of my choosing. I knew that I might end up living alone for long stretches despite the fact that I married the guy so that I could be with him. Marrying into the military meant accepting that certain things would be out of my control. I knew that going in.

Still, as a control freak, I didn’t like it at first. Okay, I’m still not crazy about it, but I figured I could look at it two ways. I could let it gnaw away at me until I ran stark-raving mad from the marriage. Or, I could learn to let go and accept that certain things are out of my control.

I really want to be like that second person, but the truth is, if somebody were to tell me tomorrow that I have to pick up and move away from my home where the trees blossom in February and no one owns a snow shovel, to somewhere where they still have nine feet of snow in March - I can’t say I’d be cool with that.

However, I am a person who understands change, so I know I’d come around. Change isn’t always easy but most of the time it’s good (even when - especially when - it feels terrifying). I went to 12 different schools and moved more than 50 times. I get change. I’ve learned that even though it might be difficult at first, it usually comes with a gift. For me, I’ve learned how to make friends quickly and easily. I’ve learned that people are pretty much the same no matter where you go, and that makes things less scary. I’ve learned that I don’t like snow but that I can live with it. Spring skiing is the best. Snowball fights at night under streetlights rock.

Change and control are different but they’re linked too. I can’t control change: It’s the only true constant. I can, however, control the kind of change I’m likely to experience. There’re no guarantees but by marrying the man I fell in love with, I chose love over loneliness. No regrets. Who knows, the next place they may send us could be somewhere I’d love to be - like Africa or Europe or maybe even Nova Scotia. 

I’ve learned to embrace change, for the most part. I’ve learned to trust that even when the change doesn’t seem like it’s going to be for the best, there’s always, ALWAYS, going to be something worth-while in it. My challenge, the thing I have control over, is to find the silver linings. 

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