From The Publisher: Our Changing Ways

Change. That one word seems to sum up so much of the last few years. In almost every way—economically, politically, environmentally, socially—we’ve endured fast-paced adjustments in our lives, and if we’re honest, it hasn’t always felt comfortable. In fact, change and fear often go hand-in-hand. You seemingly can’t have one without the other.

It shouldn’t be this way. Change shouldn’t be so intimidating. After all, we’ve had plenty of practice with it.

Every one of us has been changing since day one. How else could we grow, mature, survive? We change the cities we live in, the jobs we hold, the cars we drive, the music we buy, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the friends we keep. We change in small ways and we change in big ways, from the length of our hair to the size of our families. The truth is, we’re quite good at changing—ifonly we could convince ourselves of that fact.

Of course we’d all like change to happen on our time. Until we’ve cleared our schedule for that new job, new diet, or new addition to the family, we prefer the status quo. Take, for example, my own Ocala Style team. Last month, both our editor and our creative director decided to pursue other interests after years at our publications, and initially, their departure felt daunting. Fear, that knee-jerk reaction to change, began to rear its head.

Not for long, however.

My team embraced the news with aplomb, doubled and tripled their commitment to our work, and moved forward with a gusto I scarcely anticipated. I can’t express how heartened I was by their enthusiasm, by the sheer number of ideas and concepts they put forward. Now every one of the writers, editors, and graphic designers on my team has an equal voice in the creative process, and we barely have enough hours in the day to review all of the proposals. There’s a freedom and joy around the office that comes from feeling that anything is possible. Sure, at first, we might have thought we weren’t ready for this change, but clearly this change was ready for us.

And that’s the point really. Ready or not, change has a way of finding us, pushing us in unforeseen directions, stretching our abilities, revealing the content of our character. It’s the most natural process we undergo as human beings and the most rewarding.

Perhaps Helen Keller, a woman born without the ability to see or hear, provides the best perspective on this subject. “When one door of happiness closes,” she once wrote, “another opens. But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

What a loss it would be to miss any open door of happiness in our lives. So here’s to clear eyes focused on a bold, bright future—with plenty of change in store.

I know I’ll welcome it.

Until next time,


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