Sunday, July 31, 2011


I don't like change. Not to the extent of actively avoiding it by wearing/eating/doing the same thing every day, but in general, I prefer things to be predictable and relatively comfortable.

I think this may be in part due to my upbringing. I had a very stable, pretty damn near idyllic childhood. I went to the same school from the age of three until I graduated from high school. There is thankfully no divorce in my family, and almost all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins lived in New Orleans when I was growing up. Things were blissfully consistent for me - even to the point of every Christmas Day being basically exactly the same as all the others. (Opening Santa presents under the watchful eye of Dad's video camera, breakfast and presents with Dad's side, presents and dinner with Mom's side, go home and crash. Lather, rinse, repeat next year.) I think that this level of predictability and consistency brings with it a host of good things, including a sense of being rooted in traditions and a close community. In fact, elementary school teachers learn that routines and predictability in a classroom are incredibly beneficial to children.

However, the slight downside is that I have not often in my life been forced to undergo major changes. My first new school (and class with boys!) was at UVA. I only moved to a new house once in my memory, and it was approximately 90 seconds away from the old one. In general, change is just not something that's happened to me that much.

That said, let's recap the past few months for me, shall we? Get married. Go on honeymoon. Return to pack up life and move 855 miles (yes, I Google Mapped it door to door) to a city with no friends. Start new job at brand new school. That's a lot of change for a girl who hasn't even had a freakin' Christmas that was distinguishable from all the others.

Honestly, I was really worried about how I was going to take all of this upheaval. The marriage part has been fine - as I said in a previous post, I don't really feel married (read: old and lame) because things aren't that different with Hubs, except that I see him less than I saw him before. Plus I don't have to take care of paying bills or taking out the trash anymore because he is more than happy to do those things. Score.

For the most part, the moving thing has been fine too; Durham is a town with a lot to like, especially as I've gotten to know some really lovely and fun people. But I am bothered by the newness of it. I don't even notice it most of the time, but my dislike of change rears its ugly head every once in a while. Yesterday, for example. I spent 2 days in Sapphire, NC with my family at my parents' mountain house. When it was time to leave to go back to Durham so I could spend time with Hubs following his week of nights, I got really upset. All I wanted was to stay with my parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin and soak up the familiar vibe from them. The feeling passed after a couple hours in the car and a tearful conversation with Hubs, but it was there nonetheless. I didn't like it, and I wanted it gone.

After a great deal of thinking, I've decided that I don't know that there's anything I can do to fix my aversion to change except to keep forcing myself to undergo changes. I'm never going to be a person who up and decides to move to China one day - or even to dye my hair - but if I continue to see the upsides of change, maybe it will help. (Side note: I'm considering renaming this blog "The Upside" because I keep seeing myself use that word. Thoughts?)

So... the Upsides of all this change:
-First and foremost, the best. husband. ever.
-a big, beautiful house with a spacious kitchen and a freakin' room for a closet.
-the chance to be part of an amazing new school
-lots of wonderful new people
-Local Yogurt (a deliciously acceptable substitute for Pinkberry)
-driving distance from Cville
-being able to go to a store looking like crap because I won't see 234034 friends of my mom or grandmother everywhere I go

I could go on for a while...

I highly recommend this exercise any time you are feeling negative about a change. My mom suggested it first, when I was feeling extremely apprehensive and anxious in the face of the match and the uncertainty it brought for my future. She suggested I make a list of at least 5 positive things to look forward to about a new place, and it really helped. Take it from me.

And remember.... if nothing changes, nothing changes.

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