I think Boyz II Men said it best when they crooned, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.” Those sage poets not only composed one of the best songs to hold a partner at arms length away from you at an eighth grade dance; they also succinctly summarized some of my deep seated psychological problems into one simple lyric of a song. They also never skipped a beat while cooling on South Street, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that I fear change. I hate it. When things are going well, I want them to stay exactly they way they are. I have no desire to seek adventure or challenge in my personal life when everything around me seems great.
I was reminded just how entrenched I was in this state of mind this week as the Phillies traded my beloved Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. The struggling team traded away outfielders, waving a white flag signaling that we’re given up hope of making the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Rather than acquiring players for a playoff run like we’ve done in recent seasons, we’re looking toward the future.
That’s fine. Teams evolve. But I pout because I really like Victorino and Pence. Who will forget Shane jubilantly throwing himself onto a pile of Phillies when we won the 2008 World Series? And will another Phillie ever look at good as Pence did in an old time Phillies uniform on the cover of Philadelphia Magazine? This is to say nothing of their skills as players and how much firepower and morale they brought to the team.
I know why it’s happening; I just don’t want to see them go. I don’t want things to change. That same feeling has haunted me for most of my life. When college was coming to a close, so many people were excited to start their new lives and careers. I would have been perfectly happy staying in my dorm apartment for a couple more months hanging out. I spent the end of law school procrastinating from finding a job because, perhaps if I didn’t make solid future plans, then nothing would change, and I could remain studying with my friends for a while longer. That, of course, didn’t happen. Despite my protests, life changed.
In the past couple years, some of my best friends have taken advantage of amazing career opportunities and left for the greener pastures of other cities. (Though, I would argue about whether some of those cities would constitute pastures that are indeed greener.) While I am happy for them, it’s painful to see them leave. As much as I love that I have new, exciting places to stay when I travel, I’d secretly rather still have them living right down the street from me.
So, I’ve learned that life changes, and there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is try to make things better for me as the changes occur. Recently, I’ve been embracing change for the better. I’ve embarked on exciting career changes and I’ve added volunteerism to my life of reading, running and writing. I can’t control when people leave or times change, but I can build myself a more fulfilling future, just like the Phillies.
Does that make it any easier for me that the Phillies traded some of my favorite players? Not really, but I guess I have to have faith that all of these moves are made with an eye toward a better tomorrow. Building to win is a life philosophy we could all adopt. And now I have more friends to keep track of on the West Coast.