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Dealing With Change

Jenn Yang

Change can be hard for anyone, but it's especially hard for neurodivergent people. Sometimes you see something that needs to be changed, but you just can't do it. It's easier to stick with the known. The known is comfortable. Sure, it may not be working anymore, but it isn't scary.

I hate change. I've always hated change. I just thought it was a "me problem". But after finding out that I am definitely neurodivergent, it started to make sense. Suddenly my need for sameness and routine wasn't so odd. It's my way of coping with an otherwise stressful world. It's something in my control that helps me in the day to day. It's not wrong or bad to have things that work for me to live my life in a more comfortable way.

Making the change to homeschooling and then unschooling was big and scary. It was full of so much unknown and uncertainty. A lot of why it was scary was because I couldn't see the outcome. When you can visualize how things will be or turn out, it's a bit easier. But a lot of things remain in the unknown. Ambiguity and uncertainty are hard.

Recently we had our porch worked on. The roof of the porch has been slowly collapsing for years. I kept putting it off. I didn't know how to fix it. I didn't know who could fix it. And I couldn't visualize how it would all happen and work.

When the work started, one of my kids saw the start of the demolition and immediately declared it was bad. All they saw was something that seemed to be working okay being ripped apart. They couldn't visualize how taking something apart could make it better. As the work went on, and they began to see the beams being replaced, they began to understand. Suddenly they could understand that change can be good. Change doesn't have to be all bad or scary.

Often in life, we are not afforded seeing good outcomes of change so immediately. It can take days, months, years to see the good in change...or we may never see it. But this experience gave us a tangible look at change. It gives us the framework for when we can't see the good in change. It helps us to know that maybe next time change won't be so scary.

Jenn Yang is a Bay Area native. She's a former teacher turned unschooling mom of three. She enjoys sewing, reading, DIY projects, and coffee...lots of coffee.

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