Metamorphosis

If you haven’t read Franz Kafka’s existential story of “Metamorphosis”, allow me to give a very brief summary. One morning, a salesman named Gregor wakes up in his bed to discover that he has turned into a large insect. You did read that correctly. Gregor struggles with his new form and is kept in a room away from his family, who is struggling themselves because Gregor cannot support them anymore. His family adjusts to the situation and accommodate to Gregor’s needs, though every so often him and his family grapple and have issues, most revolving around Gregor’s insect state. I don’t want to spoil the ending, because it’s a marvelous story that everyone should read. “The Metamorphosis” tells the story of change and adjusting to new conditions of life.

Although the chances of someone waking up and becoming a huge cockroach is slim to none, it begs the question, how should we react to change? Sometimes life hurls new things at us. Fast. Often times we have little to no time to take in these new things. Your grade can plummet, your car can break down, you may even be dumped. Over time, people themselves go through a metamorphosis. Think about the kind of person you were 3 or more years ago. You’re most likely a totally different person now than you were then. The metamorphosis of one situation into the next is what puts us as humans at a disadvantage. A new change can catch us off guard, leaving us confused and unprepared. So how do we deal with it? Adjusting to change can be made so much more easier by understanding the change. Evaluate your current situation. How does it differ from your situation from before? Does this affect you negatively? What can you do to make this situation better? There is rarely a perfect solution to the random changes in life, but nonetheless, there are always ways to adjust and make it more bearable.

Going through a personal metamorphosis happens to all of us, even though most of the time we are unaware of it. The world around us changes so much so quickly that it almost instantly effects us. David Byrne, in his song “Once in a Lifetime” perfectly encapsulates this idea when he says “You may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’”. The passage of time goes by so unnoticeably that we may sometimes be taken aback at how much things have changed without us knowing. This change is nothing to fear though. Changing as a person is just a part of life, and is nothing that should be anxiously anticipated or avoided. Though in some cases, nobody adjusts to a change. It sticks with them and they take no action to help themselves. In “The Metamorphosis”, the family of Gregor refuses to accept the metamorphosis he has gone through, and Gregor in turn suffers from it. It’s understandable that one would not accept that their close relative was turned into a giant bug, but for all intensive purposes, let’s say it’s allegorical for something else.

All in all, change and metamorphosis are to be expected in life, but it is the adjustment and acceptance of change that will make it endurable. Without being ready for changes, one could be blindsided by an unforeseen alteration to their situation. So in the event that you or a loved one wakes up in an insect form, you’ll know that the best way to deal with it is to come to terms with your new life, and make the absolute best of it.

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