Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Crisis and Change

Wild fires near my home June 2012

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned in the last year is that sometimes it takes a crisis to initiate change.

 I love change. I crave it in my life on a regular basis. My new job at the flower shop appeals to me in a similar way veterinary medicine did, in that I never know what each day at work is going to bring. In veterinary clinics healthy pets come in for vaccines punctuated by an emergency hit by car, toxin ingestion or broken limb. At the flower shop, I might take an order to celebrate the birth of a new baby and five minutes later an order for a funeral. I've worked at temp jobs where each day is predictable and the same as the previous. After a week or so I'm bored and ready for something new!

Growing up, my mother and I moved four times between the time I was two and twelve. During those years I also had two different step-families. When I was fifteen, my life was flipped upside down when we moved from Pennsylvania to Wyoming. Each new chapter of my life forced a reboot. Despite being difficult at the time, those moves and lifestyle changes gave me the courage and confidence to initiate change in my life whenever I felt I needed it.

I can't imagine what it's like to grow up in one house with the same set of parents, rules and family traditions. Lots of people do grow up that way and aren't as adaptable and comfortable with change as I am. In fact, I've discovered that many people fear change. For those people, something different can be threatening. If things have been done a certain way for ____years, why change it? But the fact that  I like change doesn't mean I don't also like routine and familiarity. I tend to hoard sentimental items to provide consistency in my life!

I've also learned that comfort does not equal stability. You can live in a comfortable house with nice things and a nice partner, but that doesn't mean the bottom won't drop out eventually or that change isn't necessary. And that can get confusing. If things are going "okay," why do they need to change? Even if we aren't exactly happy with the way things are, they could always be worse, right? So why take the chance and shake things up?

Well...because sometimes life needs a little shake up.

A summer thunderstorm August 2014

But people who are afraid to take bold action don't understand those of us who do. They will judge and alienate the people they don't understand. It's an unfortunate side effect for being a risk taker. It still hurts my feelings when I get "unfriended" by someone who doesn't like a choice I've made but I've learned to let it go because that's not a person I want close to me anyway.

I've come to realize that perhaps people who fear change need people like me to show them it's not an enemy and help them bring it about. I've witnessed people close to me transform into a totally different being when faced with crisis. It brings out one's true colors and that's never a bad thing.

A flower can push through rocks to grow and bloom


  1. I always enjoyed the thunderstorms in Montana (as long as they didn't bring damage with them). So true about what you wrote about change. I don't welcome change but I've had lots of change in my life and lived in several different states. I think that has helped shape my perspective and dealing with things over the years. I do wonder how different things would be if I spent my life in one house or one area.

  2. This is all very true. I've had a lot of change in my life, but I'm mixed about having to face it. I adapt to change pretty easily and accept it fairly readily, but I'm reluctant to have to face it. When it does come though I just try to go along and make the best of things.

    Arlee Bird

    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    A Faraway View

  3. If ever there's a constant in my life, it is change. Just when I think I can relax, here comes change again. Such is life. :-)

    Take 25 to Hollister

  4. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge - where I am part of the A to Z Ambassador Team! (I'm a minion/volunteer under Arlee.)

    Great post. I'm looking forward to more. Let me know if I can help you in any blogging way this month. I've followed you on GFC.


    Ah, so true!

    Great pics, btw. That flower looks like a wild violet, which is great in salads. Lots of vitamins.

  5. Thanks for stopping by! And thanks for your work as part of the challenge. I really enjoy it each year!

  6. I think your feelings on change are pretty common. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I love that picture of the thunderstorm! And I agree with you about change being such an important part of life.

  8. Adventure doesn't always need radical change. Sometimes its as simple as trying a new dish, or hiking a new trail. Other times, it's a new lover, a new job, a new town, a new country, or a new instrument. Great post, friend. So you.

  9. I moved a lot when I was a kid, too, and also love change. Wonder if there's a connection?