DIMATO COOPER: Mentor Helped Instill a Needed Willingness to Accept Change
Most of us are familiar with the verse in the Bible: To everything there is a season. A time to laugh; and a time to cry. A time to mourn and a time to rejoice. A time to live and a time to die. A time to pick up and a time to let go.
I heard someone say that change is the only constant in our lives. I agree. Change is always occurring. It's just the degree of the change that makes it more noticeable at some times than at others.
I believe that the way we approach change (good or bad) depends upon whether we embrace the change or fight against it. It's like when we give medicine to children: They don't like feeling bad but they fight against the thing that is designed to make them feel better.
Even adults are guilty of this, me included. None of us are strangers to change, but I used to fight against it tooth-and-nail. Over the past four or five years, I have learned to embrace change and go with it wherever it is taking me. No matter how difficult or painful the change, it is best to accept it and learn from it. Because when it's time for it, change is going to happen.
It was a particularly painful change that brought me to Moore County. But looking back, it was the best change of my life. I can't imagine living any place else. There have been many significant changes in my life since I've moved here. The one that stands out the most was enrolling in the Entrepreneurship Certificate program at Sandhills Community College (SCC).
It wasn't a change that I was searching for personally. It was for my daughter, as a first step in her college education. I was a little hesitant at first, but I embraced the change. And I'm glad I did, because this one seemingly small change opened my eyes to my future.
I had the opportunity of meeting and being taught by Mary Dixon, professor and chairperson of the Business Department. Not only was she my academic adviser, but she was also like a mentor, as well as my biggest supporter. She gave me the confidence to share my invention with her; immediately advising me to apply for a patent.
It was also during this time that she saw my need for a mentor and paired me with the right business professional. Mrs. Dixon has always encouraged me and inspired me to explore all of the resources made available to me at SCC. And her door was always open.
Mrs. Dixon is retiring from SCC this month, and she will be greatly missed. But I believe that the spirit that she has instilled in the program will remain. This gifted educator was continuously striving to create a community where we could all work together as a family to reach our goals, because we need each other to succeed.
In my opinion, she has certainly done that. She leaves behind a legacy of students, like me, who were blessed by her ability to see something within ourselves that we could not see or needed to have affirmed. At first hearing, I did not want to accept this change, but I have since embraced it -- accepting, as she has, that when it is time to move on, we must do so.
Change is the one thing that we can be sure of in life. Growing up, graduations, marriages, childbearing, working, death, starting over, retirement -- all are changes that each of us will eventually experience either personally or through another. Therefore, the sooner we learn to embrace change, the better equipped we are at handling it.
It isn't always easy. I have learned to celebrate change when it needs to be celebrated, cry when it is warranted, laugh when the tears cloud my vision. And always, always embrace it. For change is going to happen.
Dimato Cooper, of Cameron, is a wife, mother and entrepreneur student at Sandhills Community College. Contact her at email@example.com.
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