Sunday, May 22, 2011

What Are You Afraid Of?

During my counseling session on Friday, I told my therapist (Kat) about the previous journal entry I had written (Just Okay). I told her about my discontentment with practically everything in my life. I told her I felt stuck, and like I was drowning in a sea of things that were unfulfilling, but very safe.

Kat gave me a homework assignment. She wanted me to write something in my journal about change. Of course I embraced this writing assignment whole heartedly. So today's entry is about change. How do I feel about it, and more importantly, why does it scare me? As the thoughts on this subject begin to fill my head, I realize it may end up being a mini series!

For most human beings, it's normal to like things to be stable. Babies and children need to stay on a schedule so they know what to expect. If their routines get interrupted, they become very fussy and out of sorts. But as we get older, we learn that we must adapt to new things. Some people have an easier time than others adjusting to these changes.

My friend Madison seems to like change. She's moved to new cities two different times in her life; both times by herself. She's willing to try almost anything, and she seems to have no problem at all with changes to her daily schedule. She appears to be comfortable going with the flow.

My friend and coworker Stella is the complete opposite. I truly have never met anyone more resistant to change. Stella still has the same hairstyle, clothes, and makeup she has had since the 1970's. She does not own a cell phone or a computer. Stella has a very difficult time when new computer programs or new policies and procedures are introduced at work. Not that she can't do them or understand them; she just doesn't like that things have changed. Often she will still refer back to policies that were in place years or even decades ago.

So where do I fit in? Somewhere in between I guess. I don't like change at work, but I know sometimes it's necessary. Some work changes I'm much more resistant to than others. I don't have a lot of problems changing plans. I would never move away from home unless my entire family and all my friends were going too. I haven't changed my look a lot over the years, but I have tried to keep somewhat current with makeup, shoes, and hairstyles. I wear jeans most of the time, but transitioned well from bell bottoms to straight legs, to pleated and acid washed, to boot cut. I don't like to move, but have. I don't like it when my kids have to change schools. I've only had one real job my whole life, even though I've held different positions within the company. My first marriage lasted seven years, four of which were a nightmare, but I hung in there anyway, thinking and hoping things might get better. They didn't. I went through several hellish years in my current marriage, thinking and hoping things might get better. They did. I don't like to burn bridges with people. I am able to get rid of many old items, but hold tight to others that have significant meaning to me.

I think I'll end this entry here. I'm going to re-read it and figure out why I embrace some changes but not others. I'm going to think about Madison and Stella, and why change is so markedly different to the two of them. Stay tuned.

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