Life is full of patterns. Your daily routine is just that: a routine. A pattern. You wake up, make breakfast, get dressed, go to work, eat lunch, go to the gym, go home, make dinner, go to bed. Rinse, repeat. There are things you add in from time to time. You go to the theater or the symphony, you go out for lunch, you have friends over for dinner. Aside from these variations, we live patterns and routine.
It’s the moment we glimpse ourselves outside of that, when we see that these patterns no longer serve us that we crave change. Most of the time without realizing it. We complain about patterns. However, we bitch about change.
I was in a job that I knew wasn’t right for me. It started out as a temp job, and turned into a permanent position. For the longest time I told myself that it was a dreamy job because there were so many things that a person should want in a job. I won’t go into them here. I also was in a relationship that I thought was good for me. And in my down time, I was performing in local theaters—not getting cast a lot, but I was performing some. However, I was unhappy.
Life decided it was time for change. I lost my job, my relationship ended, and I got incredibly sick during a show and almost had to quit because of stress. It took me at least eight months to recover, and I still find myself, years later, talking about the situation with disdain. I am not a failure, but I failed at a moment in my life facilitating all kinds of change. Even though that moment of my life brings me painful and frustrating memories, it was the best thing to ever have happened to me. The man in my life was creating a lot of tension and was no longer good for me. The same with the job. Although it took me a little while to recover and regain my footing, I found myself on unemployment, going back to school to get a Masters Degree in Psychology, and making plans to move to New York City to pursue my dream to be an actress on Broadway.
I am not a failure, but I failed at a moment in my life facilitating all kinds of change.
Looking back at all the things that happened between then and now, reevaluating the change that occurred, I can see that it was many little differences, alterations, and thoughts that formed plans and feelings that made the change come about. I knew change was in the works, but didn’t want to admit it. I started making choices in my daily work that ended up effecting me in the long run. The same thing was probably happening in my relationship. I was living in a pattern that I thought was good for me, however I found a few things that made me take a deeper look at that job and myself. My opinions changed, or refocused, and every day, a little change was happening. My pattern was no longer an exact replica. It changed a tiny bit each day. Was this change inevitable, was it already in the works? Or did I finally open up my eyes and see what I really wanted, and once comparing it to what I had, I realized they weren’t the same thing? No matter what, no matter how I analyze it, I know it was a bit of both.
When I was a kid, I had one of those flip books. (This goes together, trust me. I didn’t just flip to another topic.) You know the kind. The ones that have a similar picture on each page, but if you held the spine in one hand and let your opposite hand’s thumb control the speed of page release—the quicker the better—it would look like it does in the movies. The characters on the pages come to live. Mine was a Cinderella book. She dances with the prince. Now, being an analytical child—for better or for worse—I would look at each and every picture after flipping through a few times to see if I could spot the differences. Upon close inspection they could be seen, but they were minimal. They had to be, otherwise when flipping through, fanning the pages to see them animated and “moving” you would notice a huge jump or a jerk. This being the change, the shift. Life is like that too. It’s not a picture. It doesn’t stand still. Every day there is a miniscule change. This change creates movement through your life.
Life changes a little bit every day. It moves toward something different. It must. You learn something every day, or if not you experience things that change you. You grow older, wiser. Unless you live in a vacuum or a cave, which neither is possible if you’re reading this blog, you are going to change. We often don’t notice change until a lot of it has taken place. Often as soon as we notice it, we notice how we don’t like what is going on around us and we see our patterns and we get frustrated. The frustration comes from both realizing we are stuck in a pattern, and that we no longer want to be stuck. Often times the patterns we have help us keep in our daily routine because it felt safe or easy. When the moment comes and change is happening, we cling to the pattern with such tenacity because we are afraid we are making the wrong choice, the scary choice, the painful choice even if the change is needed and/or inevitable. All change is good. It might not feel the best as you’re going through it, and its terrifying because you don’t know where you’ll end up on the other side, or if it will be as comfortable. But the point of change is to get you out of the comfortable. To make you better. To make you stronger. To make you live a greater life.
Life changes a little bit every day.
I needed my job and lifestyle change to happen. I couldn’t make the choice for myself, so I willed it to someone else. Even though I was hurt badly, probably because I didn’t and couldn’t make the choice myself, I rebounded. And you know what? I’m incredibly happy. Change needs to happen. Not all of it is drastic. Sometimes little change is good. It keeps you on your toes.
Change will happen. There is no stopping it. Well, ok, you could go move into that cave, or live in a remote location, but that is really not a likely option. Just let change happen. Take deep breaths. Think of change as a new roller coaster that you’ve never ridden before: it might be scary at first, but just put on your seat belt and enjoy the ride (this advice coming from a girl who used to hate roller coasters). At the end, you’ll be done with it and come out a different person for it. Just keep your eyes open, breathe, and know that there is some good in every outcome. You will be a different person, a better person, for having gone through the experience.