I had this post almost fully written about my vacation with my family and how awesome it was, and how we had quality together time and played charades, and blah blah blah happy vacation-cakes.
But I'm not feeling it.
And so today, I read one of Beth's posts, and then I went to the bathroom and cried a little. Because she was so honest, and so brave, two qualities in which I've been lacking.
So I've decided to switch gears. You see, there are some Changes-With-A-Capital-C that are about to happen in my life. I'm not ready to give you specifics just yet, but trust me. This is major.
These are good changes. Fabulous even. But it is undeniable that my life will be Different.
And I am scared shitless.
For months, I have been avoiding this. I have tried to talk as little as possible with my friends about these happenings, which I think, surprises them since, like I said, these are good changes. Instead, I have been hanging on, bitterly, to my old, same life. I clutch at the days, fighting the imminent passage of time. And I can't. As much as I wish I could, I can't stop time.
What am I so afraid of? Everything and nothing. In fact, there is no one thing that I can point to, and say, "This makes me afraid." Instead, it is change itself that scares me.
And it occurs to me, that this same fear of change can be applied to the environmentalist movement. I can sit here and wonder, "How can people bury their head in the sand when the world is in crisis?" but am I any better? In fact, I'm worse because I'm sitting here burying my head in the sand because of upcoming GOOD changes. Is it any wonder then, that when environmentalists tell people that the icebergs are melting, and that life as we know it is in peril, that people put hands over their ears and sing all, "Lalala I can't HEAAAR YOOOOUUU!!" It's a coping mechanism. And it's human.
But it's not working. Not for me. And not for the rest of us. And so, today, I remind myself, it is okay to be afraid. But it is not okay for me to be ruled by fear. Because it's tried and trite, but I find FDR's quote really true here, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
See, the truth is, human beings are adaptable. Extremely so. And thus, the fear of change is often much worse than the change itself.
I will be fine. We will be fine. It won't be easy, but we will learn to adapt, as we have always done. Because we are stronger than we think we are.
When my father died at the same time my mother was diagnosed with cancer, several people said to me, "I don't know how you handle all that. You're so strong." And as much as I understood what they meant, I always found such sentiments kind of funny. How did I handle it? What choice did I have? The world wasn't going to stop turning, and I wasn't going to spontaneously die of grief, though I occasionally wished I would. I had to handle it. And so, given no other option but to be strong, I was ... strong.
Until you are tested, you never really know your own strength, I don't think. But when push comes to shove, you are reminded that yes, you are strong. And so now, I look at women like Crunchy and Leila, who are dealing with personal adversity, and I remember, that yes, these are two incredibly strong, brave women. That they are able to laugh, and make their readers laugh in spite of the difficulties they face is amazing. But Crunchy and Leila are not unique. I say this, not to take away from their courageousness, which is truly inspiring, but because I believe we ALL have the capacity to be as courageous as Crunchy and Leila.
For those of you reading who aren't so sure. Who are scared of change, who don't think you could survive if X were to happen? I am going to look you straight in the eye, and say, "Yes. Yes you would survive." I'm not saying it would be easy, that there wouldn't be a period of adjustment, that there wouldn't be grief, tears, anger, or throwing things. But the point is, you would survive. And eventually, you might even thrive.
That's the hope I'm going to leave you with. Thriving. Because while certain changes, like losing a loved one, are undeniably bad, and some are definitely good, sometimes a change you think is going to be bad and difficult, actually ends up being easier and more fun than you would imagine. Sometimes, a change will do you good.