My struggle with change
May 22, 2013
What is it about spring the just makes a girl want to revamp everything?
I look around my house and I want to redecorate.
I do the closet transfer from winter clothes to summer clothes, and I want a new wardrobe.
I start doing the spring cleanup on the yard, and I want to tear out the plantings and relandscape.
Change and transitions. It took me a long time to sit comfortably with change. Don't think I'm embracing it like a long lost friend yet, but I'm trying.
Once upon a time, change was feared and despised. I grew up in the same town where I was born.
My parents still live in the same house that held my crib.
Not that many people moved in or out of our small Oregon Coast town, so I went to school from preschool to high school graduation with many of the same people.
I lived a rather stable, unchanging life. One might say boringly so. I saw it as they way things were supposed to be.
But then my best friend moved away the summer before our senior year. I felt abandoned, untethered, cursing the hole left in my life. I think this created a negative association with change in my mind.
And with that, the evil seeds of change were planted, like noxious weeds that I spent the next several decades trying to eradicate. But resisting changes, much like chopping and pulling those nasty thistles, only angers them and makes them come back stronger and more insistent.
There was a point in my life that I hated change so deeply that I actively resented it. I did not want things in my life to be different, and that kept me paralyzed when faced with decisions. Rather than choose, I allowed situations to control me. I had to start looking at things differently.
I started to imagine what my life might look like without change, if everything stayed as it was at that moment.
Zzzzzzzz. Snort! I'm sorry, did you just say something? I dozed off I was so bored.
On the other hand, I didn't want to live a life so full of newness that it would be hard to find the constant.
Somewhere in between had to be a happy medium for a recovering changephobic like me.
So as of late, I have come to accept that change in our lives is inevitable, that it should be revered and respected, that it is actually the fiber of life itself. When life dishes up a change, I try my best to view it as an opportunity and dig in.
It's still hard, people. I occasionally have those old feelings of fear, and resistance bubble up to the surface.
I have to stop and consciously examine them, facing off with them like lacrosse players at the center of the field to figure out what I'm really afraid of and what I really want. Then I take the ball and run.And this is where I am now: finding that balance between changing everything and holding onto all that is familiar and safe. It's nothing major at the moment — the landscaping, the family room furniture, the right summer sandal — but it's nice practice for when the big stuff comes along.
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through email@example.com.