Thursday, September 24, 2009


I often hear of how much people fear and dread change. Saying goodbye and cutting ties and moving on (from people, a place or even a behavior) to something new and different can be sad and lonely and scary. But it can also be magical and beautiful and exciting and, above all else - different! And sometimes different is better. And even if it is not better, it feels good to mix things up because being somewhere/doing something new and unfamiliar brightens up the drabness of all that same-ness that you just exchanged for this new . . . thing!

I am a person who craves change. There is something in me that loves a fresh start, a clean slate - an opportunity for reinvention. Isn't that what a new school year did for us as a child? An opportunity to get new clothes, be surrounded by a different mix of peers and to start fresh with new teachers.

I guess attending four elementary schools, three junior high schools, one high school and three separate universities will either make one hate or love change. I managed to land in the latter category.

But it sometimes makes me restless.

When in the city, I crave the mountains (though I can't recall craving the city while in the mountains).

While relaxing in my parent's living room, I crave the go-go-go pace of NYC's sidewalks.

Under the near-boiling, sopping wet temperature of a typical August in NYC (though not this year), I wonder about what it will feel like to be bundled under layers and layers and still feel cold on this very sidewalk outside my building due to a biting arctic wind.

As a student I longed for the days when I would regularly collect a paycheck.

Yet, as a working professional, I envy the relative simplicity of student life.

Growing up there was always a mile-marker age just ahead to look forward to - especially the triple-threat of 16, 18 and 21 in fast succession.

I flip through catalogues in search of a new couch, even as I sink into the comfort of the one that knows my shape so well.

I am always daydreaming about my next vacation - tropical beach or mountain adventure?

I miss snowboarding while the snow is gone.

I miss the beach when the rain slaps against my window.

I long for a companion even as I enjoy the absolute freedom of the single life.

I crave the arid desert air despite the smoothness of my skin under the influence of constant humidity.

This is not to say I do not love and appreciate the moment I am in. I long ago learned the lesson to not wish away the present (although, I must confess to the need to re-teach myself this lesson over and over again and ban the statement "I will be happy when _____" from my internal monologue).

But this craving for change is a separate sort of longing. It starts with a whisper of how things could be different, new, exciting. Change holds the thrilling promise of unknown joy and sorrow and growth and freindship. It isn't always about a revolutionary transition - job, house, state, marital status, children. Sometimes, a subtle shift is enough to satisfy the craving. A slight behavior modulation can sometimes mix things up enough to satisfy the craving - like learning to run or walking/driving a different route or inviting someone to dinner you wouldn't normally have befriended.

But lately?

Lately I've been craving something bigger. Which is probably why I have started running, gotten myself involved in social events I normally would not have participated in and just generally opened myself to doing things a little bit different from how I have done them before. The question is, are these change enough, or do I truly want more?


Tiffany said...

Loved this post. I think I know what you're next big change is going to be: a starring role on Broadway.


Soul-Fusion said...

Funny story: my first summer in NYC one of my roommates was an actress - the kind that went on Broadway auditions all the time and starred in off-off-off Broadway shows. My other roommate and I often discussed how we were going to audition for something just for fun and spent loads of time discussing what we would sing. The best part? Of the two of us, I was the better singer. And if you have ever heard me sing, you will really feel sorry for her. I am a little sad we never did it. Who knows, maybe I'd have a couple of Tonys by now if I had tried . . .

critts said...

I crave change--that's why I move a lot. Although now that I have kids I'm starting to think about wanting them to be more settled than I was as a kid. Not to mention the fact that buying and selling houses is REALLY expensive. I'm going to have to find other outlets for my change cravings.

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