Bonjour Royal Friends!
Remember your last year of High School when everyone was excited to start their new life? We were either marching off to college or setting out into the wilds of the workforce. Either case, I daresay the thrill of anticipation was tinged with a bit of fear. But as I recall, however much anticipatory fear I had over my upcoming lifestyle change in university life, it was drowned out by the emotions of positive excitement. So much of what was ahead seemed fun! Independence, roomies, new ideas, cool parties, campus life, feeling grown up, college friends, and getting started on my dreams and goals.
We all pressed ahead into the changes, the drumbeats of our choices. Some of us graduated college and went on to higher education. Some of us plunged straight into corporate life, businesses, careers, marriage, the workforce of diapers and baby duty, or all of the above. For me, the next step was law school. Although I looked forward to becoming a lawyer, my fears over my projected life changes knocked a tad more loudly than they did when I was going off to university. The balance of fear to positive excitement in the changes ahead tilted a little more toward fear. Could I tackle a mountain of books every night? Could I study days and nights with nary a break? Could I handle the notorious classroom hazing of first year law professors?
I was young and stupid. I put my head down, and like the carpenter bees that recently showed up on our deck, I drilled through and got my JD.
But something happens to the emotions surrounding change as the years go by. I’m not sure why, I just know it feels that way. There’s more fear. Like the stone that gathers moss as it rolls down a hill, change starts gathering the texture of loss.
When my kids each went off to college, I was dreading the upcoming change. What would it be like without my kids’ smiles (and dirty sox) hanging around the house? What would it be like when I passed by their rooms in the late afternoon and they weren’t there, and it wasn’t because they were in after school sports? That change is sure gonna feel like loss. When each of them finally did go off to college, I used to press their pillowcases into my cheeks to try and conjure up the scent of them. For the first few weeks I would cry.
As life goes on, there’s so much more change. Change that feels happy and change that feels sad. Happy stuff, like marriage and motherhood, new homes and jobs, vacations, pets and performances. Tough stuff like getting fired, or financial difficulties, or illnesses of family and friends. Breast cancer. Maybe I’ve answered my own question, here. Maybe it’s not that change is intrinsically harder, it’s just that we’re shellshocked from a lot of it. So we’d rather nothing changes, than to have to deal with the tough ones.
How do we handle change when the idea of it starts giving us the heebie-jeebies because it resonates with the energy of loss? How can we see change with new eyes so that we still feel good about the future. We better find a way, that’s for sure. In life, change is a permanant fixture.
I was struggling with the changing nature of one of my friendships. A girlfriend seemed to have gone off the grid and things seemed different. They seemed to have changed. I was sad and worried. One day, in the weee hours of the morning, I had an epiphany. I heard the words, “Change isn’t loss; it’s just change.” Such a simple idea, but it turned everything around for me. It gave me the new eyes I was looking for. Every relationship has ebbs and flows. Maybe my friend just happened to be busier than usual. Maybe someone in the family was sick. Maybe she just wanted to be off the grid. The friendship turned out to be compeletely fine. Change isn’t loss; it’s just change.
When the kids flew off to their college experience, if I had decided to look at it as just change, and not loss, I would have been open to the possibilities of pluses. You see, there ended up being benefits to the new situation. Not because the kids were away (I loved when they came back), but because we all appreciated the time we had together even more when they came home. Translation: the stuff I did that drove them crazy didn’t seem to bother them as much.
When I was facing a mastectomy, I knew that was going to be a big change. And that seemed to me like a loss. But later, when I looked at the situation merely as change, and not loss, the experience had a whole different vibe. I could see the pluses, such as creating a better proportion for my small frame, being able to wear strapless gowns to my galas, and potentially saving my life!
So, my royal friends, as you continue on life’s journeys, try not to fear the changes. See them for the postiive circumstances they can create: new air, new perspectives, new challenges, new life. Think of it this way. If fashion never changed, you’d never need a new outfit again. How sad your closet would be! Bring on the cruisewear, baby!
If you enjoyed this post, there’s more where that came from! Keep your eye out for my new book, coming soon, BONJOUR BREAST CANCER, I’M STILL SMILING! …wit, wisdom, and optimism for beating the breast cancer blues. It’s all about making lemonade, heck, lemon chiffon pie, out of lemons no matter what you are going through.
Bonjour! I’m Princess Diane Von Brainisfried™
Motivational Speaker. Certified Life Coach. Award-Winning Writer. Breast Cancer Survivor. Offering seminars and coaching using humor to inspire happiness.
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