Life

Lynette Fay: Dream it all up again – chances are, a change will do you good

It takes courage, confidence and conviction to make changes in life. Recognising that it's needed comes first, then comes execution and making it happen. No-one enjoys being out of their comfort zone in anything they do

U2's Bono, not a man – or a band – afraid to embrace change Picture: Chris Bacon/PA
Lynette Fay

ON DECEMBER 31 1989, at the conclusion of the hugely successful Lovetown tour, from the stage of Dublin’s Point Depot, Bono famously announced that U2 were away to "dream it all up again".

They were the biggest band in the world. Why would they want to do this? Why would they want to change?

Change they did and burst back at the end of 1991, almost two years later with Achtung Baby, an album which sold 18 million copies and won them a Grammy. (Incredibly, it has taken me to week three of this column to mention my favourite band).

U2 reinvented themselves as a band, while at a career zenith and just before they all hit 30. Age milestones in our lives do challenge us to reevaluate everything – and I mean everything.

Most of us feel the need to change something in our lives at some point along the way. There’s that word again. Change. It challenges some, excites others, but let’s face it, it strikes fear into the hearts of most.

For me, changing schools, primary school into ‘big’ school – no problem. Then came the third-level transition. Again, no problem – I even went as far as to go to a university in a town I had never been to in my life, which then involved a seven-hour bus and car journey. I would never make that decision now.

My wanderlust evaporated at the ripe old age of 25 when I secured a permanent, pensionable job. Wasn’t I the sensible young woman? I had my head screwed on me. For a while, perhaps.

Permanent and pensionable. When I was 25 I thought that I had hit the jackpot. Two years previously I was waiting for the grant cheque to come in; now I had a job for life. Fifteen years ago that would have been the holy grail – it still is for some, but after a while I knew that permanency is not for me.

One of my best friends recently decided take a career break and move to a different city. She may or may not come back, she might continue in the same career, but just like U2, she might dream it all up again.

She made a decision and is embracing it. Brave move.

Change. Transform. Evolve. Reform. Remodel. Empowering, exciting, yet frightening words. When I take on something new, I’m usually fraught with anxiety and nerves until I find some sort of a comfort zone and work out whether or not progress will come.

I always believed that I haven’t got an athletic bone in my body. Two years ago, I signed up for a Couch to 5K programme. My stomach was churning with nerves the first night I went to training. I very nearly got back into the car and went home, but I forced myself to stay. Turns out, I’m not bad at it, and I enjoy it. Who knew? I wouldn’t have had I got back into the car that first night of training.

I was never an outdoors person. I was too self-conscious – still am, to a degree – but I now care less about what other people think. Don’t we all as we get older?

As we get older the notion of ‘I’m far too old to...' is prevalent, as are the clichés: Fortune favours the brave. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Face the fear and do it anyway.

All this is easy to say. If you're not in the head space to hear these words positively, they mean nothing. I often find myself in the middle of this see-saw of opinions and options.

It takes courage, confidence and conviction to make changes in life. Recognising that it’s needed comes first, then comes execution and making it happen. Sounds as easy as 1,2,3; but if you don’t have the confidence to press the button, or if you’re taking a chance, it’s frightening. No-one enjoys being out of their comfort zone in anything they do.

 

The Irish can be very negative towards people who wish to exert change in their lives – ‘Who do they think they are…’ or, ‘They’re mad…’ are frequent reactions.

Satisfaction only comes with hindsight – that is, if it all works out. If it doesn’t, that other cliché comes into play: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Life changes are up to us. Changes in society – well, as we’ve learned this week, that’s something else altogether. In the word’s of Sheryl Crow, ‘A change will do you good’.

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