Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Change is a...well you know the rest...

Change is a funny thing. It's constant (or so the saying goes). And yet, sometimes it seems that when you want change the most, it never comes around.

Some of us love change. Some of us resist it with our fingernails dug into a cliff side refusing to let go.

But Change and I have been good friends over the years. I will be the first to admit that I embrace her everytime she comes knocking. I'll also curse her when she decides to withhold and leave me stranded. It's a good place to be as a writer. If a new idea hits me and takes me off the grid, it doesn't bother me. I just go with it. Even in life, I've always been able to hang with change pretty well. For example, when I was twenty two (or was it twenty three?) I managed to change pretty much every aspect of my life. I remember very clearly my grandfather's reaction to all this nonsense--"You may fly by the seat of your pants, kid, but you always come out on top!" In the space of a year, I graduated college, got a new job (that required moving to the big city), got engaged and bought a house. But then, I got a new job (that required moving to small town). I sold aforementioned new house roughly two months after closing on it. Ah, the joys of a booming real estate market! And so I moved on, I bought new house, and I broke off my engagement. Then I ate my grandfather's words: I lost my new job three months after taking it and was stuck with a mortgage in a small town where there were no other jobs for me. I ended up OK in the end, but looking back, I wonder how I didn't have a nervous breakdown during all that mess.
Painting by Abraham Willaerts - 1626
But sometimes things take FOR-EVAH. I've spent the last two and half years being held hostage by my dear friend, Change. It's been more emotionally exacting than anything I've ever been through. It was a time of reflection and maturing, if I'm honest. I evaluated my past mistakes and the behaviors that led to them, and in the end, I think I've made some real progress. And so when things started changing (new job, moving, interested agent...), I embraced them gleefully. Finally--I was getting what I wanted.

But for the first time in my life, I've realized that change is hard. It means missing everything--the familiarity of day-to-day routines, my work friends, even driving up to my old workplace in the morning! I've been on my new job for three days now, and while I think everything will pan out OK, I'm wandering around in the dark (and bumping into furniture along the way).

I think the hardest part is not anticipating these emotions. The loss, the sadness, etc. I wanted these changes, hoped and prayed for them, so why do I feel this way? My only answer is that I've grown up. It's a good thing, I suspect, given that the big 3-0 is next year. I just wish I could skip the depression and find my feet in this new world I now inhabit. Because now I am being forced to change for the first time in my life, and boy, is it hard.

So how about you? Do you handle change very well? How does it affect your writing?


  1. Your post is timely. Most times I subscribe to the belief that everything changes, no two moments are the same. But when the big changes happen, the ones that uproot my "security", it takes me longer to get to trusting and seeing it as part of the way life works. I'm getting quicker at getting out of fear, but it happens. The upside to change is that it's always better than I thought. This is good because I am rewriting an important element in my manuscript!

  2. I hear you--I find change both exciting and challenging. Sometimes I get frustrated by changes not happening fast enough when I want them...or too fast when I'm not ready :) I guess I just want change on my terms, and that's not usually how it works! Best wishes with the new job!

  3. I haven't had any significant changes in the last decade or so but I used to roll with them pretty good. I'm one of those people who looks for the silver lining and that works for me.

    While change is getting you down, why not try something new and fun. Take a class, buy a windsurfer, take up figure drawing, do something to raise your spirits.

    My two cents, Mike

  4. Thanks for the advice, Mike. I was thinking the same thing today! I need to start focusing on my writing again and there is a local writer's group I'd like to join.