It was an unusually sunny and warm October day. I was getting ready to go to an interview and noticed that unlike the weather, my mood was pretty usual, calm and routine.
The week was going steady with no big ups or downs, which blurs the lines between the days and sometimes even weeks. Just another day.
I was meeting my respondent by Peavey Mart. A fresh look of the renovated building caught my eyes right away. The scaffoldings just went down and the remodelled storefront was like a whiff of fresh air. It was looking modern, contemporary, new and attractive, and I started feeling excited right away.
My interview took over an hour, but when I left I felt really thrilled. I received such a huge dose of positive emotions that I couldn't resist smiling for the next half hour. And as I was weirdly grinning walking around the mall and taking pictures, I paused for a moment and tried to understand why exactly my mood changed.
I spent that hour touring the mall, looking at things that have already been renovated and changed, browsing blueprints and visual models of how the renewed Estevan Shoppers’ Mall will look like in the near future, and trying to imagine the life coming to it. And even though these changes didn't mean much for me personally, that feeling I had when I took the first look at the renovated hardware store multiplied by 100 when I looked at the picture of how our mall will look soon.
It was exciting walking around it and trying to visualize the people and vehicles around it, new glass displays, stores and other attractions. The feeling that this almost 50-year-old building was getting an absolutely new life gave me a boost of energy.
I walked my wonderful mood at Woodlawn Regional Park, which only solidified the way I felt (by the way, it was still really beautiful and cozy there, so if you get a chance stop by before winter hits) and then headed home to continue my research. Being a bit of a geek in understanding emotions and motivations, I tried to figure out why I reacted in this manner.
I knew that in general, we don't like changes. It's one of our ancient survival mechanisms. Changes mean something new, i.e. something unknown. And unknown may be fraught with danger. The danger is bad, and the organism signals us as much as it can to avoid anything bad.
The mind understands that changes for the better are not a real danger, but since we have to step out of our comfort zone most of us still often resist the changes and stress about the necessity to do anything differently.
On the other hand, we have curiosity – another wonderful mechanism that bypasses our safety guards and pushes us to explore the unknown. This strand is built in to make us feel excited about the new things and, when balanced by survival instincts, keeps us going forward but in a safe manner.
However, when we achieve what we were headed for and something in our lives changes, we usually lose what we had; it's just not the same anymore. And that makes us sad. Be it a person in new settings (work, city, country, family), a building or a new business, when changes come we have to reconstruct or readjust our identity, which is neither a fast nor a comfortable process.
All of the above is what different articles on our relationships with changes gave me, but I still didn't find a key to my emotions that day as I felt really excited about numerous developments and innovations coming to the mall and in general, I feel rather excited about most changes. I actually really love changes. When they begin, I often whine, but I still love them. So to understand why, I had to look inside.
And the reason is that changes bring hope. And hope is what guides me through life. If things are not going well, but changes are coming, there is a hope that it will get better. If things are fine, and something is to change, it still leaves you a hope that it will open doors for new opportunities. But no matter how things are, if there is stagnation, to me, it right away feels like a swamp. We live to move, so if there is no development, then there is degradation.
We either move up or down, forward or back, but we can't be still. Things can't or at least shouldn't be the same from day to day, from year to year.
So when I witnessed the changes happening and learned about what's coming, I felt nothing but happy. Happy for the new mall owners, happy for businesses in there, happy for Estevan and happy for myself, because we are all a part of this new beginning.
I hope I got you intrigued, so stay tuned for an exciting story about big changes coming and already happening at the Estevan Shoppers’ Mall.