This morning I led an activity with my work group about change. Change is so hard but it is inevitable no matter how hard we dig our heels into whatever earth we cling to. We have no choice in this life but to change. If we don’t bring change, life will place it in our path.
The participants brought up the changes they have had to make in parenting as children grow and change and the inevitable sorrow at seeing them grow into young adults who walk into the sunset to make their own lives. Some brought up career changes, relocation and the transition from college to being an adult. As each of them shared I thought of the many changes that I’ve navigated through my 55 years on this earth.
I thought of my final drive out of my driveway in Watson headed to Harlingen TX and my first job on my own as a 22-year old college graduate. I remembered that day standing in my kitchen in Knoxville as I packed up my kitchen gadgets that I’d collected over the years as a homemaker. I looked at those boxes and wondered at how that woman had changed since I’d bought those things. That first divorce was a huge leap over a river of fear that I’d never make it on my own. I made it my own then, and I’ve made it on my own many times since. My fear was irrational.
What makes change so hard is the uncertainty of what’s next. It’s that “in-between place” that makes me so uncomfortable. I somehow have to tap into the hope that I will land on my feet somewhere on the other side. I resisted change for so long, and the resistance made it even harder for me to change in the long run. I had no evidence that it would all turn out okay if I just took the next step. I had no reason to trust God and the Universe because I had’t given them the opportunity to show up. My resistance to change was deeply embedded in my need to control the outcome of my life.
Learning to let go of the past has become easier as I’ve built my muscle with trust. It’s never easy, and it’s always emotional, but I have the faith that it will all work out somehow. And I’ve seen with my own eyes that my limited view of what my life should look like is a small representation of the possibilities. My growth is proportional to my willingness to change and let go of the outcome.
I’m not sure what this move and this new job will bring to my life, but now that I’m getting over the biggest hurdles, I’m starting to feel more comfortable about letting it be what it will be. I love my new little house, and I took care of my self by getting a 15-year mortgage that I can easily afford. I feel really proud of that, and I even have enough space in my income to fix it up like I like it. I’m enjoying long walks around my neighborhood and into downtown St. Joe with my dog. Whirlpool feels good. It feels both old and new, and I feel like I fit. I plan on taking ice skating lessons at the end of the month so I can walk over to the ice arena once it opens. Even though I never anticipated this major change at this time in my life, it feels really good.
It was hard to drive away from Louisiana with my friends in need from the flood. I somehow felt that I was being selfish moving on. But the train was rolling, and I had to go. My next phase, it seems, was somewhere else on a northern shore. I felt like the little girl in the back of that ’59 wagon…
Life’s about changin’ …. nothing ever stays the same…