Stillness and Change
I was listening to a podcast on my way to work this morning (Reply All, if you wanted to know), and the storyline focused around this man who–for the sheer enjoyment of it–has spent every Sunday evening for the past 9 years fixing grammatical errors on Wikipedia. A silent internet hero, correcting the world’s sloppy grammar and ridding the web of 21st century corruption of the English language. If it were up to him, he says, English language would never have to be disrupted. It would remain as-is, locked in history, without the looming threat of change. Routine, and rules, and structure, he says, are a welcome friend.
Every Sunday evening, he logs on to Wikipedia and does not go to sleep until every last incorrectly used preposition of his choosing is removed from the world. In some ways, he’s doing what we all, at one point or another, also find ourselves doing: he’s attempting to slow down change.
We’re all constantly at a crossroads between stillness and change. For every single thing that we want to slow down and hold on to, there’s always another thing that we’re rushing to get to or to move past. I’m personally very guilty of constantly steering myself in both directions like, multiple times a day.
Recently, I’ve started to realize that while I rush towards so many things in my life, I’m also just flat-out terrified of change. I crave it, but it also makes me anxious. I crave more responsibility at work, but the added pressure is intimidating. I want to be more experimental with my style, but most days, I gravitate towards a simple white top and jeans out of routine or comfort. Some days, I dream of changing cities, picking up, and moving, but I’m afraid of leaving behind the people I’ve met and the things I’ve built along the way.
In some ways, we’re all our own version of the Sunday night Wikipedia vigilante. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to hold on to the things we like about our lives. But not everything can stay the same, not everything will, and honestly, not everything should. The gray area between stillness and change can be uncomfortable, but more often than not, that’s where we end up finding out the most about ourselves, anyway.
I’m still trying to find my own sense of balance within this gray area. It’s all about embracing stillness when it suits you, and still being able to invite the change that's needed to push yourself to do the things that past you would’ve never thought possible.