I haven’t written in a while – over a month now. It’s not for lack of trying or lack of wanting, but I have just felt distracted. There has been so much change around me lately that I have found it hard to focus. I don’t know about you, but for me, change is one of the most daunting ideas. I revel in the monotony of consistency. But here I am with this cliche revelation – change is HARD.
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”N.R. Narayana Murthy
This past month, we moved. If you were to ask me before this, you would know that I never in a million years thought we would move. I think with my heart more than my head, and I am extremely sentimental. When I look at my old house, I see all our firsts – the first steps, the first meals, the first tooth lost… all of it. I never thought I could break away from that, or see myself living anywhere else. And yet, when I walked into (our now new) home for the first time, I could picture us here as a family. It also helped that J created an epic PowerPoint presentation about why we should buy the new home (which simultaneously tugged at my heartstrings AND my type A personality). So in a whirlwind change of events, we submitted an offer, put our house on the market, and moved all in the span of 2 months. So here we are, and as I write this from my new living room, I am cognisant that getting used to a new space will take time. Again, I reflect that although this was a change for the better, it was HARD.
Like many, I want to say that I can embrace change. I want to let things roll off my back and go with the flow. Sadly, I have quickly learned that is not my forte. Change makes me anxious – not knowing what to expect or being able to control a certain situation breeds fear for me. A lot of times, I’ll admit, that the anxiety and fear come before I am actually IN the change. Psychologists have told me I tend to catastrophize situations and expect the worst before it has even happened. I think, though, that is mostly human nature.
Those who know me, know that butterflies are my spirit animal. A butterfly on my shoulder blade was the first tattoo I designed, the first thing that was important enough to ink permanently on my body. Butterflies symbolize change and the metamorphosis that is possible when you give in to new experiences. The idea that a caterpillar goes to sleep and becomes a butterfly is nature’s way of telling us change can be beautiful. And yet, it doesn’t make it any less scary. Overthinking is a notoriously dangerous trait to possess. Do caterpillars know what is going to happen? Do they feel it in their core? I highly doubt caterpillars have existential crises or have to talk out their feelings about change. Or do they just know that it is something they have to do?
Rational minds will say that change can truly be positive, with many benefits. Becoming more adaptive, flexible, progressive and on your toes. Learning, personal growth and new opportunities can all come from change. I try to live my days as the butterfly. Embracing change and seeing the beauty and the possibilities. I have realized that I am not very good at it, though. Just because something is good, doesn’t make it easy. I love my routine, and I love the security that comes with knowing that comes next. I can readily admit that to myself. It is easy to say that change is good when you look back from the other side. When you’re wading through it – not as much. I think the beginning comes with the realization that it isn’t easy. And maybe it’s not supposed to be. Maybe the beauty is in the journey more so than in the destination. Maybe, just maybe, it’s more about what happens in the cocoon, and less about emerging as the butterfly.
This is life. Love, Mom.