She Goes to University and I Learn

Jennifer Loehding

8/18/20195 min read

Yesterday, I participated in the filming of a documentary about mental illness. The production company was looking for everyday individuals to get their input on the subject. We were not given any indication before arriving as to what our topic would be or the types of questions we would be asked. We were merely given the address and advised on what we could wear.

My scheduled time was about 24 hours after I had dropped my middle daughter Paige off at the university. I was not at all excited to take part in this project for several reasons. I didn't know what I was going to be discussing, nor did I know what they would be asking me. I didn't have time to prepare since I didn't know anything, and I was worried about what I might or might not say. Will I say the wrong things? Will this be a topic I know very little about, and because of that, will I make a fool of myself? Lastly, I was still dealing with the mixed emotions of dropping my daughter off at college.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am excited for her. In my last blog, I discussed the ongoing issues she had been facing before leaving and my concerns. Despite all of that, I know this will be an experience quite like no other for her. I want her to succeed and enjoy her time there. With that said, I am not going to lie; I was selfishly sad about it. It meant change was happening. Change I did not initiate, at least in a direct way.

I went through with the project as I promised. I arrived at the scheduled time, and four other ladies were waiting in a small room. None of us knew each other, and we all had the same information about the project. It was very little. We sat in the room, speculating as to what the topic could be. I couldn't help but be apprehensive, but the more we started talking about the possibilities that could arise from this, the more I found myself becoming excited.

If I told you that nothing significant happened in participating, I would not get to share with you the incredible wins that came from this. Not only was the topic something vital to me, but it was something I experienced previously within my household. That meant I had plenty of input to offer. Besides, it gave me the perfect opportunity to talk with the lead organizer about my book and how it may benefit his project. The thought of that was enough to get me fired up. That conversation allowed me to focus on the possibilities rather than getting wrapped up in the negative emotions I was feeling about my daughter leaving.

I have often said in my live feeds, that my brain can travel down a negative rabbit hole very quickly. At the same time, I can recognize this and take action to reverse my thinking. I joke that this is one of my superpowers. I have found techniques, although I know are not new, that have given me some control over my emotions and have allowed me to process change with more success.

Some people adapt to change very quickly. Others struggle with it. There are always underlying factors that can affect one's ability to adapt to change, and there is also the severity of the change that can affect someone's ability to accept change. One change for someone else may seem trivial, while another person may view it as significant. Nonetheless, we know change is inevitable, and the better we can become at adapting, the more resilient we become and the quicker we return to normalcy without our lives.

So what do I do when I feel out of control with change?

The first thing I do is accept the change. I may or may not be able to do anything about the situation, but what I can do is accept it and take ownership of how I handle it. I am not going to tell you I accept it without a fight. I can't change the fact that my daughter is going to college. It would be unfair to expect her not to. What I can do is accept it and figure out methods to resolve my negative feelings. In doing this, I can learn to change my perspective. I, like everyone else, need time to process things, but in doing so, it gives me time to heal. It varies from person to person. The quicker you learn to accept change and move forward, the sooner you can make peace.

Sticking to my routine is something that I feel like I can have complete control over. The closer I stay to doing my usual routine, the better. What does that look like for me? Continuing my exercise routine, eating my typical diet, reading, making my checklists, doing my affirmations, and anything else that I feel is a part of my daily life is helpful for me. What do you do regularly? Continue that if possible.

When I know significant change is coming, I get myself booked. For me, that may mean more network meetings, more lunch dates, more client appointments, prospect calls, more meetings, and more engagements. The busier I get during those difficult times, the better. For me, positive interaction keeps me excited. When I am engaged in activities with others, I am learning, and I am thrilled. I often say when you are busy doing positive things, you don't have time to fixate on the negative. Join a group or call a friend.

One of the best ways to heal or adapt is to find people who are going through similar situations as you or people who have successfully resolved their situation. These people can give you hope. Something is comforting about grieving with others who are traveling down the same path. There is also something comforting when those same people come through adversity together. Those who run together through the trouble, win together.

I once heard in a sermon. You are doing one of three things: going through a crisis, about to go through one, or you are coming out of one. I think the same about change. I don't know where you are in that cycle. I know that change is inevitable, and my goal is always to figure out how to successfully and quickly adapt to it. I know I am successful in doing so when I can find the silver lining.

In close, my daughter had her first timed trial yesterday. This race was the very event she was worried about running. She messaged me yesterday to inform me not only did she place first place out of the freshmen, but she also placed second overall. She finished the run, given the ongoing injuries she has been dealing with, and she ran a great race. She was pleased. As for me, I am happy for her. She is going to make her way in this world. Letting her go to college is a necessary change.

As for the documentary I participated in, I am hopeful it will make a difference in the lives of others. If my book can somehow play a role in that, then my story will also make a difference. All the struggle, pain, and the changes endured will have been the price paid for a huge silver lining.