The Wayne Stater

Everything changes

Erika Schwartz, Staff Writer

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This year I feel as though I have been thrown in to various experiences that made me feel uncomfortable. These experiences have forced me to work with people that I wasn’t comfortable with and do things I felt awkward doing.

I have felt like I have been stumbling blindly through these past few months, getting a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel only every once in a while.

Before this year, I had never applied to grad school, learned how to use Photoshop, written a 20-page paper, traveled to a foreign country, used public transportation in a foreign city by myself, or even eaten a full meal of seafood and enjoyed it.


As the end of the year gets closer and closer and I am looking back on my experiences, I have begun to realize how much my life and, especially, my art has changed. Positively changed.

When I was younger I used to get terrible growing pains. I would wake up in the middle of the night to a stabbing ache in my legs. Of course, I thought I was surely dying, but my mother assured me I was just growing. It was just my body’s way of telling me it was time for a change.

I never want to wake up in the middle of the night and realize I have stopped growing.

As a student, I often hear people tell me to “get out of my comfort zone!!!” Truly, I have always prided myself as someone who is never afraid to challenge myself, live on the edge, keep things moving.

As I faced each situation this year, I wasn’t aware I needed a change. I didn’t realize my art needed to be reformed.

As a writer, it is vital to avoid becoming stuck in a rut. Writing has a certain “ebb & flow” that cannot stay still. Styles change, motives change, even words evolve. So writers too, must evolve.

It’s easy for me to start to believe since I have changed so much in the past ten years, five years, even the last few months that I am done growing. Thinking this way is a very dangerous space to be in.

I hope I never convince myself I have come far enough, my writing is good enough, my life is clean enough, I have forgiven enough.

Even if it is painful. Even if it is uncomfortable. Even if you get lost and have to find your way back. Even if it literally takes blood, sweat, tears and hours of complaining — continue to grow.

When things start getting painful and hard and uncomfortable, maybe it is life telling you it is time for a change, it’s time to move on, time to grow.

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Everything changes