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Shannon Casas: Change is scary but that doesn't mean it's not good
Shannon Casas high res
Shannon Casas

A couple of weeks before we sold our house, I sat in my bedroom somewhat terrified about the impending change.

This had been home for 10 years. Looking at the walls and floor surrounding me, it felt a bit like everything physical was about to fall away. The future felt much less solid than that space where I sat.

We had painted that space, filled it with our things and our memories and poured money into upgrades over the years.

It was my idea to move. It seemed like a good time to sell. I wanted more space for the kids and a bigger master bathroom. But throughout the process, I wondered, can I really let this house go? Have we made an awful mistake? Is it possible to cancel the whole thing at this point?

I handle change better than most, even thrive in it. But choosing change is somehow scarier than adapting to change that’s coming regardless of my feelings about it.

And all of this fear surfaced despite having our new house picked out and under contract. The uncertain future was actually rather solid: a ranch over an unfinished basement in a great location.

My family moved every four or five years when I was a child, always upgrading to something with more room, so I don’t know why I wasn’t more emotionally prepared for this change.

But then moving day came. On the last trip away from that house — the one we bought together and made ours and welcomed children to and was home — I felt like tears should be filling my eyes. But there were none.

I’d driven by the new house a few times before it was ours. I spent a day unpacking some things in the kitchen after our closing. We’d spent our first night there. And I guess it was starting to feel like home.

The change was fast, but not overnight.

And it wasn’t that drastic, either.

The new bedroom is the exact same layout as the old bedroom, just bigger, but the bathroom through the door by my bedside is entirely different. And entirely better.

Change is hard, but it can be good.

The news industry is changing. People access information in new ways, and their needs are different in an age where the internet is always at their fingertips. That change is challenging but interesting.

Society is changing. People who never found their voices in the past are now using them loudly, demanding they be heard. That change is divisive but eye-opening.

Hall County is changing. There are more than 200,000 people who call this place home and bring with them varied perspectives and a need for more resources, whether wider roads, bigger schools or new services. That change is inevitable.

All of that change could feel more terrifying than selling a house. It’s certainly more wide reaching, and I’d bet it feels to some like everything they know is falling away, the ground beneath their feet a moving ocean and no solid land within sight.

But fighting change out of fear will only leave us hardened and tired. That’s not to say we don’t sometimes need to fight change, just that we need to think about what we’re fighting, why we’re fighting and what we hope to accomplish.

I could have fought moving because what’s known is comfortable. Without change, nothing gets worse — but it also doesn’t get better.

Shannon Casas is editor in chief of The Times and a foster parent. You can hear her most weeks on the Inside The Times podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

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