Today, I’ve been thinking about changes. Some changes are good. Others are bad. Unless we’ve spent our years living in complete isolation, we all know this. We’ve all been through changes, and we’ve all experienced the ups and downs that come with them. It’s funny, isn’t it, how such a small word can pack such a huge punch. Some people love change. They crave it and seek it out. Others avoid change at all costs, performing whatever life gymnastics are required to keep things humming along, just the same as always.
I’m not sure where I fall on the “change spectrum”. I can’t say I relish it, but I don’t think I fear it, either. I suppose I’m somewhat neutral. I try to roll with whatever life sends my way. Sometimes, I manage to keep everything together pretty well. Other times … well, I’m not as successful.
The one thing that has always mystified me about change is how the biggest, most earth-shattering changes can sneak up on you. Just like with people, it’s often the quiet ones that make the most impact or have the most to say. Maybe you don’t see it coming. And it might take years and years to work its way into your life or your heart, but, suddenly, there it is: something new and different and profound. Something you didn’t have before and you never needed … but, now, all of a sudden, you don’t know how you ever managed to live without it. For me, these are the kinds of changes that happen from the inside out. The way I order my life … the things I believe … whatever it is, deep down inside of me, that shows me the world in a certain way.
This weekend has been a weekend of change for me. It saw the culmination of a huge and wonderful change in my life — something I now realize was years and years in the making. I thought I would greet this change with nothing but joy and lightness in my heart, but I was mistaken. Yes, the joy is there. Yes, the lightness is there, too. But there are so many other feelings. I feel emotionally drained and tired. And sad, too, at the realization that this change will, necessarily, carry me away from my extended family in certain ways. And, perhaps, there’s a bit of melancholy at realizing that, in many ways, this change is the sign I am growing up and growing into my own life. This isn’t a bad thing, and it’s about time for it to happen. But, even so, growing up isn’t necessarily easy. And, yes, there’s some anxiety, too. Will I be able to live the life this change demands of me? Am I strong enough to walk the path I’ve chosen, no matter where it might lead? What will life be like now that all of this has happened to me and for me? I had to work for this particular change. It didn’t come easy, and I had to fight for it. It was worth it; of that, I have no doubt. But, can I do this change justice?
And there’s another funny thing about change: sometimes, it doesn’t look like anything is different. This morning, I expected to wake up and feel different somehow. I expected to see some kind of outward sign or manifestation of this change that is so profound and meaningful to me. But, when I woke up today, I was still myself. I’m still a terrible housekeeper. My laundry is still piled up in the hallway, spilling from overflowing hampers. I still feel insecure and needy. I’m still grumpy and tired.
And yet, I’m not the me that I was yesterday. Because, underneath all of that other stuff, there is peace. And hope. And the thought that, maybe — just maybe — I can continue managing this thing called “life” because I’m not in it alone. That, even if I feel overwhelmed, I will survive, because I am stronger now than I used to be. A quiet sort of change … just sitting there, humming away under the surface of the weirdness that is often my life. And that’s okay. Because change is good.