Change. The bane of my young life. I shed bitter tears over change more often than I welcomed it. As an older child, I was nostalgic for my carefree early grade school days. (I’m not kidding. I was that kind of kid.) As a college graduate, I mourned the loss of my college years — even though they were largely miserable. The devil you know is often less scary than the devil you don’t.
Then something happened in my 30s: I started initiating change. Seeking out change. It was terrifying and liberating, and oddly boring at times. (Yeah, yeah, new thing. Been there. I guess everything can become routine after a while.)
The birth of my daughter brought about the biggest changes of all. First and foremost, baby. Nothing changes your life like the addition of a helpless, squalling infant. But at the same time, my relationship with her father and my parents underwent drastic, irrevocable changes. (Some good, some bad. Mostly just different.) I also moved, from my home of 10 years to the house next door to my parents, in the town where I went to high school. And shortly after I gave birth, I left my job of 12 years for the opportunity to work from home (and a much rockier financial outlook).
Possibly due to my age, I’m suddenly fascinated by change. I drive through old neighborhoods, picture them as they were when they were new, and wonder what happened. I try to see the young person in older people. And I find myself thinking fondly on the persons and events that made up what I still contend were the worst years of my life. It’s enough to make you question your sanity at times.
But I think it’s natural to look back as you move on to something new. And I’m entering a new phase of my life now. It’s just that, for the first time, I’m aware of it as it’s happening.
I’m also far more accepting of change. I won’t say I welcome it; change is still scary, even when it’s for the better. But I’m getting better at making room for it in my life, and letting go of the old. Do I still mourn vinyl? Sure. But my music library is exponentially larger now that it’s all electronic. So my daughter won’t discover music in record stores (!!!). She’ll find way more music than I ever had access to on the internet.
I can’t compare her childhood to mine, any more than I can compare my childhood to my parents, or grandparents. Because things change, and because we’re all products of the time in which we were raised.
However, we can adapt and fit into the world as it changes. All we have to do is be willing to keep up. I’m doing my best.
Because change can also be a lot of fun.