April Jeppson: Sometimes change is a good thing in life

Published 8:45 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

It happens a lot in movies and TV shows. The main character goes on a journey of self discovery to break out of their shell or better themselves in some way.

April Jeppson

As they are meeting new people and trying new things, at some point they lose their way. They bump into an old friend, or get caught up in some wild scheme and realize they have changed, but for the worse.

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I can picture the scene from one of my favorite movies. The protagonist gets caught in a lie by her friend. The disappointed look on her friend’s face as she walks away almost says, “I don’t know or like this version of you.” It was a pivotal, eye-opening moment. An opportunity to reevaluate the trajectory of her life and realign herself to her goals.

When someone in a movie says to their friend, “you’ve changed,” it has a negative connotation. We associate all those scenes that led up to that moment, because we saw the change to be an obviously bad one.

So a few months ago, when someone told me that I had “changed,” it was sort of a gut punch. My mind quickly went through all the situations they could be referring to, but I came up blank. I had not abandoned my family to live with my warthog best friend. I had not added a friend’s private information to the “Burn Book.” I never “borrowed” by dads car and then secretly totaled it in an attempt to impress the cool kids at school.

When it was said to me, my instant reaction was to deny it. I knew in my heart that I was the same person I’d always been. I had not morphed into some unrecognizable, alter ego of myself. This person was upset because I had created boundaries. In their mind, I was the villain who made their life unnecessarily difficult. In reality they were being held to a higher standard now and preferred the old me, the one who didn’t hold them accountable.

I love the quote by Henry Ford: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

It’s imperative to try, evaluate, pivot and try again. I love learning, and I’m wired to see each obstacle as an opportunity to learn how to do something better.

I believe that growing into our best selves is one of the primary purposes we have here on earth, so I take it seriously. It can be hard to recognize when our patterns are no longer helping us. It’s often even harder to follow through with the necessary adjustments required.

After weeks of on-and-off-again reflection, I realized that this person was right. I had changed, but it wasn’t a bad thing. Sometimes change is good and in this case, it was necessary if I was going to grow into the person I needed to be. I’m actually really proud of myself for learning and adapting as quickly as I have.

“The process of growth always involves change.” — Heidi Thompson

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.