Fresh starts. Thanks to the calendar, they happen every year – just set your watch to January. Our reward for surviving the holiday season is a new year, bringing on the great tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Put your past behind you and start over. It’s hard to resist the chance of a new beginning, a chance to put the problems of last year to bed. But who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins? It’s not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It’s an event – big or small, something that changes us. Ideally it gives us hope, a new way of living and looking at the world. Letting go of old habits, old memories. But sometimes, when big changes happen our whole world is transformed and we feel hopeless. We realize the ground beneath us has shifted. Things are uncertain and there's no turning back. The world around us is different now. Unrecognizable, and there's nothing we can do about it. We feel stuck. The future's staring us in the face and we’re not sure we like what we see. It's one of those things people say. 'You can't move on until you let go of the past.' Letting go is the easy part, it's the moving on that's painful. So sometimes we fight it, trying to keep things the same. Things can't always stay the same though. At some point you just have to let it go. Move on. Because no matter how painful it is, it's the only way we grow. What’s important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning and that positive change is possible.
When we say things like ‘people don’t change’, it drives scientists crazy, because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy, matter – it’s always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It’s the way people try not to change that’s unnatural; the way we cling to the way things were instead of letting them be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing, despite any scientific indication, that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change, that’s up to us. It can feel like death, or it can feel like a second chance at life. If I open my fingers, loosen my grip, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment, I can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, I can be born all over again. Not just on January 1st or my birthday. On average, every cell in the human body regenerates every seven years. In our own way, we shed our skin like snakes. Biologically, we are brand new people. We may look the same – we probably do, because the change isn't visible – at least not in most of us. But we are all changed. Completely; forever. We don't like it; we fear it, but we can't stop change from coming. We either adapt to change, or we get left behind. It hurts to grow, anybody who tells you it doesn't is lying. But the truth is – sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. And sometimes, change is good. Sometimes, change is everything.