Dollars and Change

When I first started this new blog in August of 2010, I talked about how there were massive changes happening in my life at that time and I used that as a launching platform to change from my old blog to my new one. I’ve somehow, inadvertantly, focused aspects of this blog on change.

I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, but it was not my intent. I guess that is why I find myself amused to be writing, once again, about change.

Recently, I’ve had some professional challenges. When I was first presented with the new change, I was dramatically upset. Crying and inability to focus kind of upset. But, I did not let it get me down. I knew, knew for certain, that this was not a change for the better. There was no way to put a positive spin on this. So I fought. I stood up for myself and said, “this is not okay”. And I lost. Those who outrank me decreed that the change was happening, like it or not.

And I hurt even more. Because now, I have the fear, the uncertainty, the uncomfortable feeling of change, but I also have the pain of losing. It’s not fun and it makes it hard, but I am glad that I fought. I don’t think I should have just accepted what was happening to me–at that time.

I fought and lost. But I’m proud of me for fighting at all.

Still, the change is coming. I cannot stop it and I cannot fight it anymore. It will happen. I dread this change. If I think about it too closely, my stomach starts to hurt. I’ve had a headache ever since it was finalized. That’s not dramatic, that’s reality. I am more tense and sit all day with my shoulders squared, trying to face this new challenge with my brave-face on, and the tension is causing an eternal headache. (Ok, “eternal headache” was a bit of drama…)

Recently, a friend told me about a big change happening to her, professionally. She is extremely upset about this change, and understandably so. From her earliest memories, she’s had her eye on one single goal and she reached it ten years ago. Since then, she is maintaining and growing and making herself even better in her choice. However, the powers-that-be in her world have decided that things must change. She will be making a major transition soon, and she is not happy about it.

I don’t blame her. I feel the pain she feels. The fear, the uncertainty, the insecurity you feel-wondering if you’ll possibly be good at the new, the anger and frustration that come with a change you did not choose. I’m sorry this is happening to her, but then I wonder…

What if this isn’t bad? What if she finds out that she was MADE for this new role? I know her, she overachieves at her job, she will conquer this and become as amazing in her new role as she was in her current role. She doubts, right now, that this can or will happen, but that is the emotions associated with change talking. She will succeed, I really have no doubt, but it is so hard, so very hard in the throes to recognize this.

It requires time and distance, the strength to get the emotion under control before you can gain perspective. I’ve still not acheived it for myself, I am fighting through the added difficulty the emotional aspect brings and still wondering if there is a light at the end of my tunnel. I know, from experience, that there is, but at the moment, I’m not there. Not even close.

I think I will get there, experience has taught me that, but when it comes to my friend, I know for certain that she will be okay.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because of a conversation I had with my mom this weekend. The conversation was very personal, regarding my brother, but it dealt with change and adaptation. Somehow, no matter how hard you resist the change, there comes a point, somewhere down the road where the way things are become “the new normal”. You stop thinking of the things in your life as change or as an intrusion or as new or different, they are just the way things are. Even if, when the change begins, it is absolutely unthinkable (as in the family situation), there comes a point when you do achieve a new normal.

I call this adaptation. Even if you hate a particular change, especially when you hate a certain change, there will come a point when everything will adapt. Your feelings, your emotions, your daily life, your routine, the way you think and feel and act; these things will all reform around the new normal. What was once “the way it is” will become no longer and will, eventually, become the odd, scary, different  part of your life.

It’s almost sad, and certainly a whole lot scary, but we can adapt to anything. We can change the world around us and we can let the circumstances of our lives change completely and none of that means that we lose who we are. We remain the people we have always been, just with new experiences and new challenges to draw from in the future.

If change is the hard part, then the new normal is the dollars. The good part we’re all waiting for, when the world rights itself once again.

It may take a while, but we always get there.

(Interested in some past posts on change?)

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4 thoughts on “Dollars and Change

  1. Thinking about how positive you make it sound. And a line from a song like the email you sent me. Totally thought you’d get that.

    • Wow, until now, sort of forgot that I sent you that email. It was more “in the moment” than planned out…

      And it is hard but change can be a positive thing.

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