Blogger, Photographer & Digital Journalist

Change doesn’t always have to be profound, but its effects will almost always be.

Bella Teerlink, a current junior at New York University, attempts to capture just this – that we should embrace change, rather than shying away from it. It’s another opportunity to create your own future, actively taking that into your own hands, shaping your life, just as Bella did as she moved between Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Washington D.C. and now New York.

The one-way ticket slipped out of my pocket and onto the floor. As I stood there, reflecting upon the filled suitcase currently acting as my closet and the backpack that held my dearest possessions, it suddenly occurred to me that my room was a metaphor for my life – constant motion.

Everything around me was changing. In the process of moving from Amsterdam to Washington D.C., I was quite literally living out of a suitcase. It was an exciting new adventure ahead of me, filled with opportunities. Yet as I told my peers my story, during my summer at Stanford, they all seemed to pity me. Whilst the empathy from these new friends was touching, their condolences were unnecessary. This was exciting! A chance to make new friends; explore new places; create new habits – it seemed hardly anyone felt this way. In fact, most had the tendency to shy away from change, rather than embracing it. After a life of deciding and designing my future, change was my friend; embracing it had been the sole reason that I achieved anything in my life.

In order to understand the emotion and sentiment to my decision to “change it up,”, I decided to start a video project with the same title. I wanted to capture why change is important, how it defines us as human beings and why we should embrace it. I started approaching people, and recording their response to the question, “What changed you?” The answers were breathtaking; from “learning how to question”, to “my mother’s drug and alcohol addiction.” The answers were real. They were raw. And they were human.

That’s when I realized that that was what I wanted to do. When I saw how I could document these stories with the full range of visceral and tangible, raw human emotions. I realized that not only could I show and embrace the change, I could encourage the change in others.

My video project, taught me to embrace my own life of change. Sharing this perspective with others transformed me, as I gained a greater insight to myself and others.  I aspire to make a difference, by embracing the little and big changes in life. I want to be the change that I see.


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