Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Change is Good?

on March 24, 2014

2009_0821Israel0097

Change is good, right? That’s what people say. “If you’re not changing you’re not growing.” “Don’t be afraid to relinquish who you were for who you might become.” All that stuff.

Well, I’m here to tell you I’m sick of it. My life has been nothing but constant change for years now, and there’s no sign of a change-free period any time soon. I have done my best to embrace all the changes, to be happy about them because I’ve always been told that it’s all for the best. Maybe one day it will be. Maybe one day I’ll look back on all this and laugh at my consternation and confusion and worry. But “one day” seems an awfully long way away and is no comfort to me right now whatsoever.

Something happened this past week that brought the state of my life into sharp focus.  A little over a week ago I was asked by some friends to stage manage a dance show. This is the first stage management gig I’ve done in years and years, and the first dance show I’ve ever done. I was nervous. I came into the process very late; I only got to see one rehearsal before we were in technical rehearsals (that’s where we go to the theatre and set up the lights and sound). The schedule was extremely compact and there were frayed nerves and people stressing out about getting it all done.

But get it done we did, and the end result was beautiful – and I remembered how to be a stage manager. It all came back to me effortlessly, like breathing. I knew what to do and when to do it. I knew the language, and the rhythm. I knew what was expected of me, and I gave it. I knew what was expected of the others around me. I had a place. I was home.

The difference between how I felt doing the show and how I feel about the rest of my life is night and day. I went to bed last night dreading having to face what was waiting for me this morning. Not because I dislike the work – not at all. I enjoy the work and my co-workers. It’s the uncertainty of it all that gets me down. We’re forging into brand new territory with our clients, and we (my co-workers and I) are trying to find a way through when there are no paths. We’re still figuring out how to work with each other, too, which makes me feel even less like I’m standing on solid ground.

I’m tired of it. I am so tired of not knowing from day to day what’s going to happen. I wish I could be that person who lives for change, for the unexpected, for the daily challenge of figuring out what’s going on and conquering it all. I’m not that person. I’m not a lot of things I thought I was, and the process of finding that out has been spectacularly painful.

This is what I have discovered:

  • I’m not extraordinarily self-confident. This was the biggest shock; I’ve always believed that I have a core of confidence that can’t be shaken.  Well, it’s been shaken. Badly. I am in the uncomfortable position of feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing at all, and it’s frightening.
  • I’m not impervious to slander. I used to think that other peoples’ bad opinion of me just rolled off me like water off a duck’s back, but I have recently been profoundly hurt by the betrayal of someone I thought I could trust.
  • I’m not a perfect judge of character. I tend to put on my rose-colored glasses when dealing with people, which leaves me open to the kind of betrayal I recently experienced.
  • I’m not as worldly or sophisticated as I once believed. I used to think I was good at navigating the complexities of modern life. Now I’m pretty sure I was just fooling myself.

So what does that leave me with? Have I been mistaken about who I am my whole adult life? Maybe. There are a few things I still believe are true:

  • I care about what I do.
  • I need solitude as much as I need the company of others.
  • There is an artist inside me struggling mightily to get out.
  • God loves me.
  • There are people in the world who love me.
  • There are people in the world that I love.

That’s all I can be sure of anymore.

There are no easy answers. There are no platitudes that can make this period in my life any less difficult than it is. Those catchy phrases are written by people who have lived through tough times and survived. I admit to looking for wisdom and encouragement there myself; there’s nothing wrong with doing that. Maybe I’ll write one, too, when all this is over. But for now, as much as I’d like to just go back to bed, I won’t – but don’t ask me to be happy about it.

***********

Thanks for reading my blog!  If you want to know more about me and my journey, check out my book “Everyday is Saturday” on Kindle.  The book is part diary, part memoir, about the first year after I was laid off from my dream job.  I think it has something to say to anyone who is struggling with change.

Photo by Amanda Taylor Brooks

Advertisements

One response to “Change is Good?

  1. Gayle says:

    No platitudes, just sending hugs… and, you know, it is just fine to go back to bed sometimes. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: