An artist I manage and a close friend commented how change and facing uncertainty seems like an impossible task in life, regardless of one’s means and life style. She is definitely right, but it also made me think as to why facing change is such a big deal to us.
As a tour manager I have always had an adrenalin addiction and a fondness for change, that’s probably why I fell into this rather insane career. There is nothing like a clean slate and a new beginning. Ending a tour and starting a new one is a routine that I have fallen into. I feel more secure dealing with customs and a handful of artists crossing some Asian border than going to the local mall and looking for a gift for a friend or a family member.
They say that uncertainty often times holds within itself endless possibilities. Obviously, some people face such dire situations in life they may not be as optimistic because they don’t know what tomorrow brings. But, when talking about everyday changes in life, I think the majority of people are much too cautious. People resist change, they are intimidated by it, often times for no valid reason. The mere fact they don’t know for sure what their lives will look like tomorrow is enough to create panic attacks in some.
I’ve had multiple new beginnings in my life, whether professional or emotional. Sometimes new ventures would turn out to be good, sometimes not so good. If there is one thing that causes unease in me as I’m growing older, it’s narrowing of the options. The younger you are the more possibilities are in front of you. As you are growing older you are making choices that limit your options: you are investing in a career, having children, buying real estate. All these things limit your options… maybe some new ones are opening, but many more are closing at the same time.
So, why do we do this? Why are we limiting our options? Simply put, to increase security. Having a career in one field increases your job security. Getting married and having children ensures you will have someone to lean on emotionally in the future. Buying a house should enable you a steady roof over your head regardless of the variations in the property market of your local area. We are exchanging incredible, exciting future options for secured present benefits which will hopefully fulfil us. It makes sense. It’s a reasonable thing to do. But still, I can’t get over the fact that every step we make leaves an infinite number of possibilities unrealized. It’s as if we are willfully saying goodbye to a myriad of different lives that could’ve been.
Then there is that cold reality, the elephant in the room, we all dread in life, the one when we will truly be left without any options to choose from and with only one left in the box.
Dennis Edwards, who would have turned 75 on Saturday, died Thursday night in Chicago after suffering from a long illness. He was the lead vocal for the Temptations.