I live in an area in Nashville that is going through plenty of growth and change. My neighborhood has become the popular place to live. With the influx of people comes the influx of building and development. This change is making many folks uneasy, unhappy and in some cases hostile. Our neighborhood message board and Facebook page are frequently filled with posts and comments expressing concern, anger, and disapproval about the changes.
What I have noticed, however, is the anger, frustration and concern all occurs before and during the building process. Once a project is complete, in most cases the benefit and beauty of it is realized. One particular project called 12South Flats required tearing down several quaint homes to build a much larger scale apartment building with first floor restaurants and retail. I remember hearing comments such as ‘This building is so large it will swallow our little community and block the sun!” or “It does not fit our neighborhood and will be an eye-sore!” It was hard to imagine anything better than what had been there before.
I think many of us, myself included, were pleasantly surprised by the finished project. Maybe those builders did know what they were doing! Now, over a year after the project is complete, the ice cream shop in this building has a line out the door everyday, the restaurant is always packed with reservations needed, and believe it or not the sun still shines on our neighborhood!
Another example is a new community center that seemed out of scale and monstrous until it was finished. Now, it is as if it had always been there and it is a great asset to our neighborhood.
I started running again the other day and my body was rebelling every step of the way much like my neighbors had about these building. This was a particularly cold and icy winter. While I continued to exercise, I did not run as much as I normally do. Now that the weather has improved, and I am start my running back up, my body is fighting this change. My legs are screaming, my heart is cursing, and even my head is thinking negative things – ‘Maybe you aren’t meant to run anymore’. My body keeps telling me in every way it knows how – ‘don’t change – be sedentary – it’s better this way’. The good thing is I know better than that!
I believe this is all very much like the change in my neighborhood. My body is fighting the change just like the neighbors have fought the change. If I listen to my body, I will throw in the towel. Not changing means holding on to what I know but depriving myself of what could be even better. Not changing and pushing through my complaining body is saying no to progress. If I push through, and embrace the change and the pain of the change I may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
Transformations can be difficult, trying and can sometimes make us question if what we are doing is right or worth it. Maybe that’s why they are so worthwhile – because we have to fight to get to the good.
Maybe we need to be a little more open to change and consider the good that could come from sticking to it and pushing through the hard part. It’s been my experience the benefit outweighs the struggle of getting there.