Change, Adventure, Growth The recent presidential election campaign was so very exciting to me. When candidate Obama, now President Obama, spoke of change I felt electrified. A new season of hope was surely upon us. We changed our clothes, hairstyles, gained and lost weight; some of us even changed our careers.
So why then do so many of us when faced with change become afraid? Why does the word invoke a degree of uneasiness, doubt and fear? Why is it such an unbearable challenge to us? When I think of change what immediately comes to mind is the fall of 1999, when my husband who was and officer with a major east coast bank announced that his division would be relocating to one of three cities (Tampa, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts, or Dallas, Texas). My mind immediately slowed down as I massaged the idea of moving from New York City, the city that never sleeps, to maybe Boston, or evenTampa. I really didn’t know anything about Dallas.
The more I toyed with the idea, the more I thought about how great it would be to have a long distance marriage. He would move to whatever city, and I would visit him once a month or he could come home to New York City once a month. I had convinced myself that some how it would work. I had a great job with The New York Public Library, wasn't keen on the idea of changing.
Then it happened. One day on my commute home as I rode the subway through Manhattan and into Brooklyn, the light bulb went off. I loved my great husband more than I loved my great job. That’s when moving to Dallas became a big change in my life. In my mind the change became the greatest adventure I have experienced. Oh, I was used to moving. I had lived in three different states on the east coast and could be in any state on the eastern seaboard within hours. But this change, moving to Dallas, was going to be an adventure.
So here I am, ten years later, and I have spent the last nine years as the Library Director at Paul Quinn College. Yes, the change has been a time of growth. I find myself encouraging students to take on the challenges that accompany change, to take the adventure and grow. Whether it is in their studies or attending graduate school out of the state, traveling to a foreign country as an exchange student, or moving on after graduation, it’s all about growing.
No matter how much time we spend remembering yesterday, today will never be yesterday. With every new sunrise we will experience change. Wow! The adventure is in the unknown. The adventure is in the change. And that’s where I find myself and Paul Quinn College today, at the door of change, on a new adventure. Just think! We have the possibility of emerging as one of America's greatest small colleges. In my mind, change is an opportunity for new adventure that will end in growth.