Change or When Medusa Rears Her Ugly Head

April 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s just me and the doggies. We’re each other’s company for the next two and a half weeks. And I’ve so been looking forward to this alone time. Like most aspects of my personality, I have two opposite states of being that should not be able to coexist at one time, but they do. What is that called in chemistry? For instance, I am very frugal and I am spendthrift. Paradoxical? I am heavily drawn to both nomadic and settled lifestyles. I’d just as quickly get excited about taking off to Africa as buying an apartment for myself and finally getting to fill it with all sorts of wonderful stuff that is a reflection of my own taste, style and experience. And as much as I can be a social butterfly, who craves the company of others, I love solitude. I go through phases where I really I love one or the other, so much so that I begin to convince myself that I truly am just an extrovert that disguises herself in the clothes of an introvert from time to time and vice versa. But no, I am just a semi-contradictory multi-faceted being, isn’t that what it means to be human?

A funny thing happened as I began my first hour of solitude and complete independence. I felt sad. (I know so much feeling sad lately). This was just an undertone of sadness that surprised me as I said goodbye to my aunt and uncle before they set off on their European adventure. They’ll only be gone a short while and I’m thrilled to be alone where the only talking involves an occasional dog bark or phone call. But still, I felt something pulling at me as I drove away, leaving them to start their European vacation.

It was change. Oh change, I forget what a finicky relationship we have. I talk about you all the time, look forward to you, get excited, make so many plans with you, but when you finally show up and are standing on my doorstep I always want to slam the door in your face and go back to the comfort of what I’ve already been doing. That doesn’t really make much sense now does it? My life has been in a constant flux, I barely know left from right, up from down, since leaving college and it would seem someone like me who bought a one way ticket to England with out a job or place to live would really have her relationship with change figured out. But I don’t.

I think that flight to England was the only time I sat in an airport not thinking I’m mad to mess with the life I already have. I was resolute on that trip, a feeling that doesn’t come around too often. But when I studied abroad in Australia, I spent the whole car ride to LAX wishing that I wasn’t going. When I moved to England for a second time, I got out of the car at LAX and wondered what the hell I was doing. And then when it came to moving here, Big Sky, same old feelings of anxiety right as I arrive at LAX, I literally have to wrench myself and my worldly possessions from the car and pretend to merrily walk once again in a new direction.

Those first moments of change that threaten to alter my often already skewed equilibrium are frightening. I’m grappling to hold onto the known even if I’ve been looking forward to the new. I figure why mess with something that is already working? Let’s face it, I don’t like the risk that comes with change. For some reason though, I have a selective memory that allows me to forget about this thing called risk until it’s too late, like in the passenger drop off lane at the airport. And for that I’m thankful. How else would I have managed to make it Australia? I most certainly would not be sitting on this couch right now in Montana, and what about all that marvelous stuff in between? I may be resilient to change when it rears its ugly head, but after the initial shock I adapt. What looks like Medusa one day almost always transforms into something else—opportunity, love, health, ambition, lessons, growth. So thank goodness for the occasional shortsighted thinking; even if I wonder what the hell I’m doing, I always go.

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