Tomorrow is the first official day of Fall—my favorite season. I love the vivid change of colors, the change in the air from hot to cool, from sweaty to invigorating. I like change; like to mix it up. But, there’s change and then there is CHANGE. Change is usually easier when it’s your idea. CHANGE is hardly ever your idea—it’s the tumultuous stuff that throws your world into a tailspin, forces you to rethink who you are and puts all the things you thought were stable and predictable into a maelstrom.
Humans are changeable beings. Some of us fight change, fearing chaos. But change is who we are. Fighting it goes against our nature and becomes exhausting in time. We should be good at something that is so much a part of us, but when CHANGE comes, it’s like we’ve never experienced it before. I hold the view that ultimately, change/CHANGE is good, but when there is a lot of CHANGE all at once, it’s hard to keep that view in focus.
The hardest thing for me with CHANGE is knowing when to surrender resistance. I’m not built that way and neither are most people. First, you push back against CHANGE, stand your ground. Eventually, I realize that my resistance is making things worse and I formally surrender. I don’t give up—there’s a difference. Surrendering is a way of coping, a deliberate choice: I will allow this CHANGE; I surrender myself to it and allow it to work in my life. Then comes the hard part: standing still while it happens. Waiting for the pieces to stop falling and then looking around to see where you are. Only then, can you see a path; a way out of the chaos and into something…else.
And that’s when you really have to focus on seeing CHANGE as a vehicle for something good to come in. Because we can’t see it; we don’t know where the path leads. This something else is unknown and maybe, we think, we won’t like it. We liked the old way, the way that has vanished. But, when the path is gone, you can choose to stand still forever or move forward, trusting that a new path will appear. All of the main characters in my books share the desire to move forward despite not knowing where they will end up. Maybe I’m using my characters to teach myself the lessons I need to learn; maybe all writers do.