Things Won’t Ever Be the Same, and That's OK

Paula BáezMay 30, 2024Crisis & ChangeInterfaith Connections

Artwork by Nikita Zinoviev, age 16

It’s hard to explain the reasons for your faith when you don’t believe in God, especially if you have grown up in a Christian home, which is the situation for almost everybody here in Spain.

But the truth is that even though nobody has taught me how to understand life through another way of thinking, I’ve been able to find my own ways as I have grown. Although my situation at home encouraged me to have a Christian mindset, I knew from an early age that it wasn’t made for me. Since I realized this, I started working on finding the meaning to my own beliefs and I came to the realization that my faith is just the way I believe in my own potential.

Change is scary for a lot of people. I used to be one of those people until I could entirely accept my faith. When you are used to living a certain way and you are comfortable with it, you don’t want to move on from that state. But then there are a lot of situations where things do not go as planned and we are forced to change: failing an important exam, not getting the job of your dreams, being rejected by someone, or arguing with a family member. All of these types of things, whether they cause a big impact or not, make us redirect our path in another way because they are not what we were expecting to happen.

I think that, at our age, this especially happens when it comes to people we are close with, like friends, partners, family, and pets. Losing people or becoming distant from them is very common and almost everybody experiences it, and it may be one of the main changes in life. It’s hard to accept people we love leaving our lives, because much of the time we have no option for them to stay, and if the choice were ours, we would choose for them to stay forever.

Change is difficult, and it was one of my biggest fears, but through my faith, I’ve realized that it’s really not that bad. In fact, it’s actually nice. Two years ago I had to change schools. I had to restart everything with a different lifestyle, and that made me look at change with a different perspective. I saw that losing contact with those I was closest with wasn’t the end of everything. Change leads us to new things. New places, new experiences, new people . . . Who knows if by changing you will find the work of your life, or your new best friend, or the house of your dreams? Or maybe you won’t. But that’s not necessarily bad, quite the opposite; it means that it wasn’t meant for you.

And that is what my faith is about: accepting that things are temporary and nothing lasts forever. Running from change won't make things stay the way they are. Everything happens for a reason and if something has to evolve, it will, whether you like it or not, so it’s better to accept it and welcome it with open arms rather than refuse to accept that things are not going to be the same. Because, at the end of the day, that’s what life is about. Changing, meeting, loving. Getting used to life removing things from your life makes it all easier. And this is something I can assert. Since I started taking changes as opportunities to progress, I’m so much more at peace with myself and with everyone around me.

All of this happens within ourselves, too. We reject change sometimes because we tend to think that there’s nothing wrong with us. And it’s true, there’s probably nothing wrong with us, but we aren’t perfect and there’s always something to improve. There will always be something that you don’t know or you could know better, something that you don’t know how to do or something that you could do in a different way.

Through my faith I’ve learned not just to accept change but to want it, even when I’m comfortable with my situation, because I know that I will eventually be fine, that everything is going to be in its place and what looks like a mess today will look like harmony tomorrow. I understand that life is too short to stay in the same situation for a long period of time without changing anything. Monotony can become boring and we all should have at least a bit of excitement in our lives, just to keep the spark alive. But, to get that enthusiasm, you have to greet new experiences, and in order to get them, you have to accept change.

As a teen, it has been hard to understand and apply this. Sometimes we are so attached to our comfort zone that anything out of that circle sounds unattractive. But fortunately, outside of the little we know, there are new places, new people, new hobbies, new foods . . . There are always new things to try, and it’s not worth it to stay right where you are just because you’re scared to try out something new.

Change isn’t bad, it’s necessary. We are humans, and humans change. Life goes on, so we must too. Life got better when I understood this. Approach change, greet it, move on. Nothing is as bad as it seems when you are able to see the good part, and there is always a good part. Nothing will be wrong forever, that’s why we must accept new things that come into our lives.

Trust the process, believe in change. Let the new replace the things that don't work anymore, even if you are attached to them, and remember that things do not have to stay the way you want them to be for them to be right.

Paula Báez is a 15-year-old from Madrid, Spain, who enjoys handball, art, history, reading, and listening to all types of music.