Change is the Nature of Chaos

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After having a long talk with a friend about life and how drastically it changes over the years, my interest has been piqued by the subject.

For me personally, life took a big step in a different direction in the past year or so as a lot has happened in that time period. I’ve left school, I’ve started my 4 year Degree, some relationships (both platonic & romantic) have disintegrated, some more have begun. Daily habits have changed, daily moods have changed, skills have been¬†acquired, skills have been sharpened. Interests have developed, some have died down, what was fun a year ago may be different to what is fun today. Essentially, many things have changed over such a small period of time relative to how much time I have on this chaotic planet we all share, and I’ve learned that if you can’t adapt, it’ll reign down on you until you give in.

It goes hand in hand with the theory of evolution, those who survive are those who adapt best to their environment. A person who can deal and thrive with changes in their life is generally the person who will go further.

In my conversation between my friend and I, we discussed mainly the changes that have taken place from the beginning of Secondary School at the tender age of about 12/13 years old, to the beginning of our young adulthood at ages 18/19. The people we associated with changed throughout our time at school, I can still remember the 3 people I first ran with in my 1st year, I now no longer speak with any of them and don’t even know what 2 of them do with their lives despite us all living in a fairly small town with a big sense of community.

I went through many different groups of friends throughout school and still have a friend or 2 from each which seem to make up the group of people I associate with nowadays which is great. Though there were people I liked who seemed to just disappear off the side of the Earth after school was over, I wouldn’t say I miss them per se, though they were people I would’ve liked to have kept some form of contact with at least, people come and go though.

Just as every black has a white however, there are people I sincerely do not miss. Ranging from people who indirectly irritated me, to people who personally done me wrong in the past and I didn’t feel I wanted to associate with them any longer. These people are what make change great, make change seem like the it shoves the 10,000 lb weight that was previously nesting on your back. Some of these people may have been friends in the past and you thought of the change from friend to a nobody was terrible. Then you see or hear of these people again and feel that change was actually a blessing in disguise, that these people are now a mess, that this neutral power of change hasn’t struck in their favour this time and your time has come to relish in the changes which have been good for you. You dodged a bullet which you thought before had put a gaping hole through your ego.

When you look at change from both perspectives like this, you realise that it is unbelievably neutral, change isn’t good or bad, it simply couldn’t be more grey. It is perspective that dictates to us whether a change is good or bad for us, but the funny thing about perspective, is that it also changes.

Ever heard of Chaos Theory? It’s the idea that initial small changes can drastically affect the ultimate outcome of something. If you’ve never read about it, I would definitely recommend at least reading the Wikipedia article on it as an introduction by clicking Here.

Think about a random decision you have made in the past 24 hours, now think about what would happen if you had made a different choice in that decision instead? What would have changed? How would this have affected other things? Which in turn would have affected other things? It’s like a ripple, it starts off from one small point and spreads out to affect a larger area. It’s this thought which makes even makes small decisions seem much more important, at least to me.

It really is fascinating and eye-opening to have a good reflective think of the past year or so and note down mentally what is different, what caused that difference and what the alternative outcomes could have been. Chances are you might find a few regrets while thinking and wish you could go back and change how things panned out. But apply chaos theory to that, if you had done something different, it would have affected other things in your life and thus the present would be different. If things didn’t happen the way they actually did in your past, you may not have your current job, relationship, friends, house, car, money or even your life.

So please, if you don’t pick up anything from reading my rambling on change, at least take away the thought I’ve tried to illustrate. Things in your life may be good right now, or they may be bad right now, but change is always happening, so be prepared, those things that you thought were bad a year ago, actually made things turn out good in the end.

– Jamie


Featured Image: ©NASA Goddard Space Flight Center