I used to be so in love with it. I still am, but it’s more of a complex, love-hate relationship. Now, it brings worry that seems less easy to brush off, it clings to me causing occasional sleeplessness and intense feelings of anxiety.
Change comes dressed in a variety of ways lately, in the big things like my name having several different letters and in reorienting my life with another person. It shows itself in packed-up boxes and the abandonment of paintings that have been hanging on my walls for years. It’s apparent in the heat in the air beginning to lift, and the joy of waking next to my husband. Chang is in getting used to that word, and other new words.
Last week I stood in the mud by the side of the highway next to my broken-down car, two days after my husband’s car kicked the bucket, the day before we had to move out of our apartment, four days before I would seriously start looking for a new job. (I know. Seriously. Right?)
Changes. Once you finally settle into one thing, it’s time to let go of it, time to embrace another one that is about to run full force into your life.
And you’ve got to make room for it.
Room in your brain and your heart.
Room where the old has lived so long, you’ve allowed the dust to form, grey and thick.
You’ve got to sweep, let some fresh air in. It gets too musty when things remain the same.
I read this quote by Jeanette Winterson the other day, and it made me feel normal again, glad I wasn’t the only one who at times feels too weary to clean my teeth.
There’s a strange thing that happens when you go from your early to your late twenties. Maybe it’s normal, it’s only weird because I am currently in the midst of it.
I guess I felt so strongly I would always be this crazy-adventurous, antsy, flexible person who was so afraid of “settling.”
Now I find myself balking at change, making decisions based on how comfortable I will feel, and stressing at the first sign of things going wrong.
“I used to secretly love it when the bus I lived on broke down,”
I confessed to my husband as we waited for rescue on the side of the highway next to my dead car.
“Yes, but that was different. You didn’t own the bus. It wasn’t your responsibility.
Responsibility. Adulthood. Bills. Financial decisions.
It comes all upon you at once.
Like joy and pain and life happening.
And you know what? Even when things seem overwhelming and insane, I’d rather have everything at once.
And I’d rather be where I am in life right now, because I am not living life alone.
I’d rather have change and be uncomfortable than stand still.
And I am not afraid of “settling” anymore.
What I am afraid of, is not having eyes to see that all of this is an adventure.
Even if it’s not the kind that will become a best-selling-book-turned-blockbuster…. yet.
I am afraid I won’t see the beauty in change. It’s hard in Texas where the autumn doesn’t announce itself in a burst of color like New England, and you have to relay on coffee shops with their seasonal flavors and piles of pumpkins in store fronts, far away from the farm they came from.
My biggest fear though, is that I’ll stop looking for those things, I’ll stop finding things to be in awe about. I’ll take life for granted and have nothing to write.
But I am proving myself wrong right now, because the for the first time in a while I am able to put words to just what is going on around me and inside me.
Change is happening, and will continue to happen, and it is beautiful.
And one day, in the midst of all these crazy life changes, maybe I will feel as if I could tight-rope walk across Manhattan.