Have you ever had something you loved and couldn’t live without turn into something that just…wasn’t? Maybe your environment changed. Maybe your life changed. Maybe you changed. You’re not really sure. What you do know is that something changed, and it makes you sad. Because that thing you used to do – a hobby, a passion, an activity – has lost some or all of its fire, and you feel lost without the spark. You can’t even find the drive to locate the match and strike it. So you let life go on, wondering what happened and reflecting about what could have been. Because that, and the dreams, and the living present and the laden past and the empty future, are all you have. So life goes on, and you think in passing about what changed. And then that, too, you forget about, because time dampens memory, and people change and adapt. That thing is gone, only a part of the past you, and it hurts. But, slowly, that pain goes away too.
And then you move on.
Ah, change. Some people love it, some people hate it. As for me, I am definitely in the inertia crowd, but I make a huge effort to recognize that. I think that being aware of our weaker tendencies, so to say, is a good thing.
One step I took recently towards recognizing my tendency to resist adapting, where I usually don’t want most change, goddamnit!, was taking an assessment that generated my top team role strengths, called “Belbin team roles”. I received it for free from attending a conference, and you can read about the awesome Belbin roles (and consider purchasing a report!) here. One of my strongest roles, if not my strongest, is Implementer, and (surprise, surprise!) its “allowable weakness” is “Can be a bit inflexible and slow to respond to new possibilities”. Yup, spot-on [gulp]. But, that’s the first step, isn’t it? Self-awareness. And since I took this assessment, I have been making an incredibly large conscious effort to be aware of my reluctance to change happening when it does, or even the potential for change. And I think it is helping, even if just a little bit.
After all, some change is inevitable. Like the one referenced at the start of this post. You go through stages of acceptable, and I’m still somewhere in the middle of that. It helps to know that there are other people going through it, I suppose. But ultimately, it happens.
There is a quote by Taylor Swift, which I read in a Glamour magazine in 2015 (see the general Glamour magazine here): she said, “I’m trying to be a new version of the person I’ve been my whole life.” And this evolution is so true. I can pinpoint distinct events in my life where I became a newer version of myself: when I went to college, when I studied abroad, when I started working in the real world, and when I started dating my boyfriend, to name the main ones, although I’m sure there are more. I can identify points before those times, and after those times, but I was not the same person for both. I’d like to think I became an improved version each time, but how can you know, if you aren’t the same anymore, since you no longer have any basis for comparison? It’s enough to drive you mad!
Now, the beginning of this post was dramatically written, because that’s how I was feeling at the time (and honestly still do). I lost something, and I was not (and am still not) sure if I would ever get it back. And that sucks. So much. To make it worse, then nostalgia kicks in (see my post on Nostalgia). And yet… whatever it is that is no longer working for you, even though it once did… that’s okay. It makes no sense, it’s annoying, it’s sad, it’s ridiculously challenging to adapt to, to find your new balance when your whole world may have been turned upside down as it is… but it’s a part of life. It’s normal. I’m here for you, even if whatever it is no longer is. And together, somehow, we’ll make it through.