• Scared by Change

    Last week I discovered I hate change.

    Which is really bizarre for me, because up until that point I thought I was pretty okay with it. I’m all about a fresh new paint color, wardrobe update, or new hairstyle. Hell, even a new hair color.

    To be fair, it’s not like change and I were besties, or even close friends for that matter. But, you know, we were polite; casual niceties were exchanged when we bumped into one another on the street. That was until recently, when my true detest for it surprisingly reared its ugly head—in full force.

    I guess I’ve secretly harbored a disgust for change all along. A deep and brooding hatred that I’ve successfully hidden from my own conscience; a loathing that I've swallowed, unknowingly, with each passing encounter.

    What provoked such a venomous response? I guess you might say it was the ultimate change—moving.

    Last week a potential job opportunity fell into my boyfriend’s lap. I mean this in the most literal sense. If it were a piece of space junk falling from the sky it would have hit him square in the head and knocked him unconscious—Chicken Little style.

    He didn’t want a new job. He wasn’t even looking.

    So, the obvious solution would be to just chuck the unwanted junk in the trash, right? But, without even inspecting it first? Without even giving the thing a good once over? I mean, space junk is mostly just trash, but sometimes it can be rather beautiful, and even invaluable.

    Of course we had to see for ourselves.

    We went about analyzing in a most practical and fail-proof manner: the good ‘ol pro and con list. Soon we discovered the upsides to this opportunity were numerous; the downsides were far less, but equally weighted.

    I felt my heart grow heavier with each addition to the pro column. Each tally like a nail in the coffin; sealing my fate. The reality of the situation was clear. The reality being that we can’t, and could never afford living in our current hometown. New job prospect or not, moving was inevitable, it was just a matter of when.

    Soon after this realization hit I could feel my anxiety start to rage through my chest. It bubbled up from who knows where and overtook me. I was angry. I was irritable. I was in denial. I didn’t want to face a change that overwhelming. So I shut the idea down.

    We would not move. End of discussion.

    I was stubborn; I was adamant. Deep down I knew, however, that our space junk was undoubtedly a gem. I just wasn’t going to admit it—at least not easily.

    Like it tends to do, my stubbornness blinded me to all the awesome aspects this change could bring us, because it was just that, change; apparently that’s all it needed to be for me to turn my nose up and walk away.

    The thought of leaving our hometown, our friends and family, the places where so many memories were made and where I wished to continue making more, was debilitating. I didn’t want to think about it. This particular change was, to be frank, scary as shit.

    When things get scary, I tend to ignore them into submission. Pushing them aside—out of sight, out of mind. If that doesn’t work, I hightail it outta there, running like the wind in the opposite direction. Sadly for me, I’m not the fastest of runners; turtle pace is more my speed. Fear usually always catches up.

    I try to deal with my fears. I really do. They’re just so darn…scary. Unfortunately for my inner terrified self, ignorance wasn’t an option here; courage decided to take the stage on this one. This was a situation that I was going to face, one that I was going to acknowledge and deal with. End of discussion.

    Apparently my inner-self likes to put her foot down a lot. Proclaiming valiantly when it’s the “end of discussion”. Still not sure how that’s working out for me…

    After allowing myself some time to calm down I was finally able to see this potential change for what it really was—not that bad. We’d be able to do, and have some pretty wonderful things that we wouldn't in our current position.

    We could buy a house. We could get a dog (or you know, a pack), we could have a garden and even raise chickens. We would be perfectly situated to take up kayaking—something we’ve wanted to do for some time now. We would be closer to my mom and her boyfriend. We would be able to travel the world. We’d be able to afford the life that we want.

    See, not that bad at all. It just took some freaking out and facing change head on to come to this more accepting frame of mind. Let me tell you, never discount a good freak out session. It may not be particularly pretty in the moment, but it does wonders for the overall sanity-meter.

    As does allowing yourself to feel ALL of those emotions that change can evoke. Be scared. Be mad. You can even be in denial (for a bit). Give yourself permission to totally and completely. Freak. Out. By acknowledging and processing all of the scary bits, you're ultimately opening yourself to the, perhaps, not so scary bits.

    I’m not going to lie and tell you I’m not anxious anymore. Or even that I have accepted this potential life change with open arms, because I haven’t. There is still a part of me, a very large part of me, that is terrified with the idea of moving. That’s to be expected. Fear of change doesn’t just vanish into the abyss, it tends to hang around and sulk in the corner for awhile. It tends to give you a good poke when you start to forget it’s there.

    At least now I've acknowledged it's presence. At least now I've looked that scary thing square in the eyes and said, “Yeah, I see you, and maybe you’re not that bad.”

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