Two days ago, I read this sentence in Tolle’s book A New Earth: “The small me that seeks security or fulfillment in things that are transient and gets anxious or angry because it fails to find it.” ¹ Wait a minute (I’d experienced an epiphany) things in life are transitional? What does that mean?
“Transitional: movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change:” ²
Admittedly, I have always known life was all about change. I hate change and I struggle and fight against it causing myself unnecessary suffering. (“But I can’t stop!” Whines the bratty, resistant child inside me.) Why do I hate change so? Maybe it was presented to me in a tainted and negatively skewed way. (Much like the word faith was presented but that’s another subject and story altogether.) Change seems permanent, ceaseless, and quick, in my mind. It feels BAD.
Maybe my idea comes from the way I was conditioned. I heard on a commercial the other day (Apparently, I do listen to them even if I’m not watching!) that parents are their children’s first teachers. Everything a baby learns for a lifetime, they absorb in the first three years of their life. Wait a minute, you’re telling me that everything I have been programed to think (Trust me, unfortunately, we have been programmed.) I learned from my parent in the first three years of my life. Seriously? Who knows what I learned, I can’t remember any of it. (Read in a sarcastic tone.) I am struggling against all that “unknown” negativity that I was taught (quite unintentionally, I’m positive). See:Broken
What change do I battle lately? I want a permanent job, I’m tired of being a temporary employee. I want a place where I go everyday, the same place. So I applied all over. No calls for months. Just when I had surrendered and accepted that my job would remain the same, I got an offer. I was so excited and pleased. I decided to sleep on it, think about it, and talk it over with more than a few friends. (Cause I don’t trust myself about what I want and have to poll everybody else to see what they think is right. Exhausting, I know.) I ‘worked it out’ that the job was going to be four full days a week. I said yes based on that assumption. Remember that to assume makes an ass out of u and me. Which is precisely what happened. The job was supposed to be 5 days a week (partial days), that part slipped HR’s mind. When I emailed the boss, “What four days a week do you want me to work?”, he freaked, threatened to call HR, and then nothing. So I fretted, worried, and drove myself to depression.
My grandmother loved clichés. I do too. I think that’s where I learned to appreciate them. After a week of self inflicted stress, I had placed myself between a rock and a hard place. (What does it mean? “In difficulty, faced with a choice between two unsatisfactory options.” ³) What was really going on inside of me is simple: I wanted to say no, I didn’t want things to change, but at the same time I wanted to say yes, I wanted to change things. Unfortunately, I’m terrified of change, it might be bad, and part of me was refusing to accept the fact that for once in my life I wanted to change something. (Usually I just wait for things to change and then put on my boxing gloves, fight till I drop, eventually I give in.) I wanted something more permanent, stable, a routine. I wanted to revive that abandoned dream.
And this is when I recognized a familiar feeling. When we first moved to this house I currently live in, up on the hill in ritzy-vill, I fretted, worried, and drove myself to depression. I was experiencing the identical anxiety about accepting this job. (Ironically, this job is on top of the hill too. However, not in ritzy-vill. No worries, I grew up in the ghetto, I’ll fit in just fine.) It didn’t take me long to realize that this house, this move, this transition, has been a “good” experience for me. Granted it was hard to pack everything up and cart it to the new house, change the mailing address, electric, phone, schools, unpack everything, and adjust to a new environment. But it’s beautiful here on the hill with the view.
Instead of continuing to wait and worry, I called HR and asked what gives.
“Oh you were on our list to call today (Surprise, surprise!), apparently there was a misunderstanding about the job offer. It is M-F, five days a week, but only part-time. If you’re still interested the job is yours.”
At that moment, I felt like I was cliff diving, and I jumped, when I said, “Yes”.
Life is change? Life is transitional.
Life is embracing
and letting go
up and down
fast and slow
painful and joyful
scary and exciting
dreadful and wonderful
exhilarating and exhausting
Life is letting go of secrets, dependable beings, dreams
But at the same time embracing and accepting many unknown extraordinary things
Everything in life that is
I’m going to trash “change” and use transition for now. In my mind and soul it feels less threatening, more real. One more thing? Wish me luck on my new job.