Do Something Scary — Make a Change

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Change can be scary, no matter your age.  

Kids go through change all the time and are usually remarkably resilient. They start school, sometimes knowing no one in their class. They show up to a soccer practice not having any buddies on the team. They move to different communities, deal with the addition of a baby to the family, and so many other things that cause disruption to their lives. And most of the time, they grow into more independent, confident kids because of the change.

As grownups, of course, we deal with change constantly as well. But do we always cope as well as our kids? I don’t always do well with change. At least not initially. Even the end of summer is tough for me. 

Sometimes we can’t control the change in our lives. But often, we can. 

A deliberate change, for example. Many of us vow to make changes on New Year’s Day — resolutions we may or may not keep. Either way, change can be unsettling, at least temporarily. But change is good for us. It helps us grow. January is not the only good time to make a deliberate change. I always consider September a time of renewal as well. 

Back to school is all about new beginnings.  

Why not consider this season a good time to make a personal change? Is there something in your life you have been wanting to do? For several years I have been thinking about finding a job closer to my home. I had been commuting 30 miles each way — for the past 18 years — and especially after the pandemic, I felt absolutely ready to make a move closer to home.  

So this summer, I did something scary. 

I left the school I had been working at since 2003. I was fortunate to find an opportunity three miles from my house, in a wonderful school community I am thrilled to be a part of.  But boy was I scared. Scared to be the new person. Scared to walk in on the first day (just as our children do all the time), not knowing any of the staff or students. But I was excited and had trust in the process. This must be how our kids feel when they start something new. It can be terrifying. But I knew I would be OK. Better than OK. I knew I could thrive. 

This fall, I challenge you to think about something in your life you have been wanting to change. Feel the fear, and do it anyway. You will be so glad you did.

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A native of Salem, MA, Cheryl Mastrogiovanni is a high school counselor in the Boston area, with just a slight Boston accent that remains from her childhood. She enjoys helping her seniors navigate the college application process. A lifelong Bruins fan, Cheryl began attending hockey games with her father in the original Boston Garden at the age of eight, and hopes to continue that tradition with her son as well. Cheryl recently published a children’s picture book about (what else!) a child attending his first Bruins game in the fabulous city of Boston. A graduate of Boston College, Cheryl is also passionate about soccer, travel, Cape Cod, and spending time with her family. She resides in Arlington with her husband and 7-year-old son. Loves: playing soccer on the weekends, Italian language & culture, road trips, GOOD pizza, hot summer nights, seafood shacks, Name that Tune from the 80’s, and being organized. Dislikes: loud noises, long meetings, & messiness.  

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