For me, the last five years have been a constant swirl of changes…jobs, relationships, new apartments, new cities, back to old cities, endings, beginnings, second chances….it’s exciting and, frankly, a little exhausting.
I’ve been known to say, in the midst of all these changes, that I’d be happy when things just settled down a little. When I was in the same place for more than a year, heck, even the same city, I could feel calm. When I wasn’t switching jobs (I guess it’s a millennial thing?) or healthcare or getting used to new situations, I’d feel at peace. But, I’ve been saying that for going on 5 or so years (I don’t even know anymore…time is irrelevant). And, as I step into something new once again, I step out of a year filled with moves, ending, beginnings, and second chances and face another year of intense changes.
Faced with this reality, I have to ask…is this just life?
Do we ever really settle into life? And do we really want to?
I often hear friends or family say, “When things slow down we’ll…” or “When things are less hectic,” or “when I’m settled…”
But I’m starting to wonder, are things EVER less hectic?
It makes sense that I would crave stability. I lived in the same house for 13 years, attended school within 1 mile of that house and lived in the same town until I was 18. My brother and I thrived on tradition because, due to certain unstable characteristics of our home life, anything that was the same from one day to the next brought us comfort. So, it makes sense that when I am feeling burnt out or pulled in all directions I find myself wishing for the stability of a long-lived in home, familiar faces, and welcoming neighbors. But, the truth is, even when I had these things again in my late twenties, I wasn’t at peace.
I SAY I crave a life without constant change, but do I really?
If you think about it, there’s no growth without change….if things are constantly the same, you’re constantly the same. I am definitely not the same person I was before all this change kicked off and I sure as shit like this person a lot better. I know a whole lot more about myself including how strong I can be when I need to, what I want and don’t want in a relationship, what I’m willing to sacrifice and what I’m NOT.
“There’s no growth without change…”
Without all the changes of the last few years, I wouldn’t know any of that, and I would probably be very unhappy. Or, if not unhappy, definitely not satisfied. If all the tiny details of the road behind me hadn’t landed where they had, if any detail had been different, I might not be where I am. And while where I am isn’t perfect, I am happy with it. And because I’ve faced so many changes, I know I can face more.
I mean, even Disney addresses the need for change through Belle in Beauty and the Beast:
“There goes the baker with his tray like always,
the same old bread and rolls to sell…
Every morning just the same,
since the morning that we came,
to this poor provincial town…”
(Fun fact: I didn’t have the look up the lyrics for that…some things DON’T change…)
She’s bored with her life and hungry for change, even if it means living in an old castle with a grumpy beast.
So, it seems, despite my hopes for settling and calmness and stability, life is only going to keep changing and maybe that’s ok. Maybe that’s all life really is, one change after another to help mold us, change us, and turn us into the people we want to be.
2019 is going to be a crazy year, people. And I can’t wait.