Posted by: susanideus | April 18, 2010

Pondering Change

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.  ~Anatole France

That’s the risk you take if you change: that people you’ve been involved with won’t like the new you. But other people who do will come along. ~ Lisa Alther

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

How is it that we can do something expecting one outcome–and then find out our actions turn out to be misinterpreted, the situation is a mess, and there is fallout everywhere? Has that ever happened to you? In trying to do something which you know is good for yourself, and more than good, necessary, you’ve hurt other people in the process? If it’s something you’ve planned, talked out and strategized, things should go smoothly, right? Not always. Complications and poor timing can make the simplest change a nightmare. No wonder I’ve always been so resistant to change. Just when I think I have it worked out, I extend myself and kah-boom, it all blows up in my face.

Some would just shrug and say that’s life. Is it? Of course, none of us is responsible for the way another person chooses to react, or to feel. Good grief, I know I have enough problems dealing with my own choices. None of us can control every circumstance, no matter how we might wish we could. Sometimes, all we can do is take that first step towards change, and pray we don’t encounter a mine field.

Still, in an ideal world, couldn’t we meet change made in good faith with grace, even as we may grieve that change? It’s a struggle for me, I admit it. I’m a creature of habit. I like it when things are orderly and peaceful, and I so dislike confrontation. So sometimes my first reaction to change, especially when it’s unexpected, is to lash out in anger and fear and hurt. I know I need to work on that. Yet I’m not willing to let myself stagnate, avoiding change that would help me grow or move in a positive direction, just for the sake of keeping strife out of my life.

I know change is necessary. Sometimes I even long for it. If I could find a way to change my address from Texas to New Mexico, I would so be there!  Seriously. there are times when change seems like the only alternative. Say, changing life-style and habits because a doctor says it is vital to one’s health. That’s a change that should be embraced. What about changes that aren’t so clear cut?

I don’t like who I am right now. I don’t like what I do right now. I surely don’t like where I am right now. Does dissatisfaction always indicate that changes need to be made?  I know what I would like to do and where I would like to be. There’s always the wholesale change–let’s pack up now and hit the road, bring the laptop so I can write while you drive. Today, I could see that happening. Tomorrow, when I’ve slept and am a bit more rational, that might seem too drastic. Effecting small changes probably suits me better.

So that’s what I’ll be doing over the next months. I’ve already started the process, and I know I’ll be writing about it. Change is possible. Change is good. Change can be positive. Sounds like a mantra as I go forward. The journey should be interesting, even if it did get off to a rocky start. My goal is out ahead of me like a beacon. I just need to keep my eye on it in all circumstances. If you’re a praying person, pray for me. If you’re not, wish me well. If you see me struggling and you can lend a hand, I’d appreciate it. (And I’ll return the favor, you can be sure!)

See you down the road a piece!!!

Look up and not down. Look forward and not back. Look out and not in,and lend a hand.  ~Edward Everett Hale

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. ~Buddhist Proverb

Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.  ~Saul Bellow


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Responses

  1. Susan, I won’t say I know what you’re going through, but I will say I know what I’ve been going through for the past fifteen years or so, and our thoughts and emotions sound very similar. I went blindly, however, taking big steps and thinking that everyone would be as happy for me as I was. I didn’t realize that my change also changed their lives. Kah-booms, one after the other. Hurt animals will bite, and I did as much biting as the rest, I’m sorry to say.

    But Lisa Alther is right: new people who do like you come along. And after the dust settles, the others may realize they like the new you as much as they did the old one. Until then, it helps to say, “It’s not about me, it’s about them.” It also helps to journal and to have a shredder nearby if necessary. (I’m not being facetious about the shredder.)

    I wish you well, I will pray for you, and I’ll lend a hand any time I can. You go, girl, and enjoy. Change is also exciting. You’re writing a new chapter to your story.

  2. Kathy,
    This heartfelt response just makes my day–and further convinces me that I am doing the right thing. Like you, I did move,expecting others to be pleased for me. I regret any hurt I may have left in the wake of my changes, but I can truly say it was unintentional (not that this lessens the pain of those I hurt.)

    I am ready to move on, and I’m really excited. The one thing I wish I had was a writing group like yours. I may have to see about organizing one. I’m going to take some online classes and I’m going to take some risks. And, I may be calling for that helping hand!

  3. Ahh, Susan, you conjure up some extremely hard choices I made years ago, out of necessity for saving me, but in the process rocked the worlds of many close to me. It was so hard to see their hurt and anger yet I had put off making necessary decisions for myself until I reached a critical point. I knew I had no choice but to do what I had chosen to do. Time did heal and time did return to me the gifts of both love and respect from those close who were wounded. It’s so hard to step out off the path and carve a new one, but I believe that we each know when we must do that.
    Although I know no details, and feel no need to, I’ll certainly send prayers your way and be looking forward to reading your posts as you forge ahead on this new turn in your journey.

  4. Oh, Mary Jo, sometimes it’s just hard, isn’t it? It will take me some time to get over the hurt I caused, however unintentionally, and the resulting hurt that came my way. Even doing the right thing, the necessary thing, is not without cost.

    That being said, I am excited to be moving in a new direction. I’m not disappearing–I’ll do the occasional book review and send an occasional offering in for True Words. I’m sorry I missed the April 15 deadline, but there was a lot going on right then.

    I love keeping in touch over Facebook, so we’ll “see” each other there and visit like neighbors over the cyber-fence. Thanks for your support and your prayers.

  5. You will always have my hand to reach out to when you need it…and my prayers…and my hopes for your continued quest and change.

  6. Sherry,
    I hope that one day in the not too distant future I can reach for your hand in person. It’s good just to know you are there. Friends truly make life so much richer. Thank you from my heart to yours.

  7. I am so moved by both your probing thoughts and the extraordinary quotations you’ve posted.

    You are a women of my heart, Susan. Keep pushing the boundaries of your world and leave the rest ot the Holy Spirit… she will keep you safe while you experience the most exhilerating ride of your life. Change is as constant and as necessary as the air we breathe.

  8. Thanks for the kind words. I am excited by the changes I see coming. I feel the time is now, and the circumstances right. If we don’t change, we don’t grow or learn. That wouldn’t be living.


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