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.
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?