Let's make a list of things we're good at. I'll start:
- unclogging shower drains without gagging
- doing squats and reading simultaneously
- pretending not to see my son punch my daughter in the stomach
- captioning photos on Instagram
- eating a whole large pizza in one sitting
- harmonizing along to all of Regina Spector's songs
- being uncomfortable at social events
- glaring at dogs
- eavesdropping in on teenage girls conversations about boys and then mentally giving them advice and then mentally giving myself a high five for giving those girls really solid advice
Okay, now it's your turn. Oh, you're not writing this? Well never mind then.
Now let's make a list of all the things we suck at. I'll go first because like we just established, you don't get a turn. Here I go:
- seeking and/or embracing change
That's it. That's my list. I'm good at literally everything else.
Fine, I'll admit that I'm not good at absolutely everything, but let's just pretend that's the only thing on the list to make this a simple segue into today's topic: Change.
I just got full body chills when I typed that. Not because it was powerful, but because change scares me almost as much as zombies and probably a little more than Chucky and that scary ass kid from Pet Cemetery.
Don't get me wrong - I understand that change is healthy and that to resist it could keep me from doing some incredible things in my life. As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in my old bedroom in my parents home, where I now live, with my two kids, at thirty...believe me, I fully recognize that change needs to occur in my own life. Immediately. Probably yesterday. Let's just stick with immediately so I don't start crying.
It just scares the shit out of me. That's all. I mean, not literally, but you knew that, right? I've only pooped my pants once, and that wasn't because of change, it was because of the laxatives my doctor gave me after I had my son. Glad we cleared that up. Moving along.
Lately I've been in awe of how fearlessly several friends have been facing the changes in their lives. I've started to notice a trend amongst the ones who seem truly happy: they not only face the changes, they tenderly embrace them.
I've always allowed change to come to me, thinking that some unknown force (God, is that you?! Can you hear me???? We'll talk about this later.) was in charge and would simply lead or maybe aggressively push me down the path I was destined to walk.
What a friggen joke. I've clearly been doing this all wrong. What the hell was I thinking?! As I've spent my life living day to day, never thinking about positive modifications I could be making in my life in order to succeed and get the most out of my life, things have spiraled into pure chaos. Wow. I cannot get over how dumb I was to think that would work. No wonder I'm so scared of change.
It's like I've been riding a roller coaster over and over and trying to take it all in stride when the ride breaks down while I'm upside down, when I get hit in the face with a bird like friggin' Fabio, or while I'm getting barfed on by one of those asshole kids from The Sandlot. I'm now realizing that in all that time I could have just climbed out, walked over to the food stand, and bought a corn dog. I should have just bought a corn dog. Having diarrhea would've been so much better than having a shattered nose and being called "bird face" for the rest of my life.
When I wrote that analogy, it initially made so much sense. But every time I read it over, it makes less sense. It's like repeating a random word over and over until it sounds bizarre and you're like "WHO THE HECK CAME UP WITH THAT SERIES OF NOISES TO MAKE A WORD?!" Say "lists" twenty times. You'll see what I mean. Whatever, I'm keeping it in here because I laugh every time I imagine a bird flying into Fabio's face. Tell me you're not laughing. You aren't? Well I don't know who you are, but you're clearly in the wrong place. Go on, Buddy, you’re free now. Go on, Buddy! Get! Goooo! Get out of here! Don’t you understand?! Get! I don’t want you anymore! (Bonus points for you if you figured out the Air Bud reference.)
I'm sorry, where was I? Oh right. Change. *shudder*
So I have a close friend. Very close. Let's just say I've French braided her hair before, and the feeling of hair between my fingers makes me dry heave. So yeah, we're basically sisters. (My sisters are all rolling their eyes right now because I've unquestionably never braided any of their hair in my entire life.) Anyways, this friend of mine is going through a time of transition right now. She's decided to leave her job, a job she's incredibly good at, comfortable with, and where she has developed close relationships with her co-workers. Maybe even hair-braiding close. Though I, along with her other pals and supporters, understand that she's headed towards bigger and better things, I'm sure there's people from the outside looking in who would think she's crazy to leave such a great job. But those idiots don't matter, do they?
She didn't choose good. She chose greatness. How fortunate am I to have friends that double as role models? My point is, though this change is undoubtedly going to be challenging, intimidating, and emotional, she's choosing it because good and easy simply aren't enough for her. And they shouldn't be. For anyone.
Lights, a relatively unknown Canadian artist, sings in one of her only moderately catchy songs, "Nothing gives easy, easy gives nothing." Every time I hear it, it makes me cry like that guy on that one episode of Intervention. (You know what guy I'm talking about.) because I get it. Lights may have a stupid name (seriously, she changed her name to Lights. Look it up.), but she has blessed us Canadians with a little golden nugget of truth: Easy is fine. But easy also gets you nowhere. It's become alarmingly clear that avoiding big changes, fearing failure, and accepting the unremarkable...aka choosing easy has left me with not much to account for in my life.
I've never wanted an extravagant life. I've always wanted simple. My problem is that I've been confusing simple with mediocre. For so long I thought I was living a simple life, but I'm seeing now that by shrugging off dreams that intimidated me, I've been doing myself no favors and have been living the most mediocre version of my life possible.
Maybe by finally choosing to embrace change, I'm finally choosing to be in control. By allowing the elements to drag me around, believing that was "fate", I've only managed to end up muddy, scraped, and bruised. And slightly sad. But it's nothing a brownie can't fix.
It might be time for me to get up, and just start moving my feet forward, because as long as I'm moving, I am in control of the direction I'm heading in. Sounds like control to me. Choosing change may be choosing the risky path at times, but if I'm walking into it, I can always turn around and find my way back, which is far less terrifying than the swamps I've woken up in and had to navigate my way through in the past.
So fuck good. I'm too good for good. I'm choosing great. I'm choosing success. I'm choosing change. Because I'm choosing me.
I don't care if that's a cheesy way to end this. I'm choosing it. So suck on that, life.
Let's make a list of things we're good at. I'll start: