Balancing Game

So, things are changing around me. Once again, certain parts of my life have turned into a soap opera, with marriage proposals (don’t worry, folks, they’re nowhere near me, things aren’t going that wacky) ghostly sounds in my apartment at all hours of day and night, and the requisite goofy faces any time anyone walks into any room. There’s a lot of potential for shock and awe in the air these days.

The current running under the whole thing though, is uncertainty. That icky, gnawing, holy-crud-what-happens-next? feeling I get any time I watch a horror movie or face the possibility of significant changes to my life. As is often the case, I find that people keep telling me everything will work out. Cue a goofy face on my part. Well, yeah. Things always work out eventually, it’s just getting from here to there that could be monumentally uncomfortable.

When I was a kid, I bugged my mom to move house about once every two weeks. I read far too many books about crazy interesting adventures being just a spare room wardrobe or misplaced coin away, and I was convinced that our house in our neighbourhood had none of these opportunities. As a kid who really really really wanted to believe in magic and adventures in other worlds, I felt pretty ripped off.

When I was nine, my parents told me we were moving. Not just to another house, not just to another city, to a whole other country. So of course, nine-year-old me pitched a fit. What, isn’t that what you do when you get the thing you’ve been asking for since you were in kindergarten? No?

This is one of my (many) contradictory impulses. I do not like change. I’m a creature of habit and routine and dinner at six (hi Dad!). But I need change. I crave it the way most people I’ve met since starting this whole adult life thing crave caffeine. I’m okay without it for awhile, but too long and I’ll start getting headaches and twitching and shouting at people for the silliest things.

In spite of needing change, it does cause me stress. I worry, I fret, I get bothered and distracted and frustrated. I’d like to be the person who can just sit back and let things happen, but most of the time I’m not really good at that. I don’t like waiting around for things to happen to me, I’d much rather try to do something about it. Sometimes this is an asset. I have a tendency to get things done: often things other people don’t want to do (production schedules come to mind).

This sometimes runs me into trouble too, and it has occurred to me more than once that if taking a step back was a little easier (or in most cases, possible at all) for me, I probably wouldn’t spend nearly as much time flipping out, and I’d definitely avoid some flipping out over things I can’t control.

So it seems that my next personal challenge (or the one I’ve been avoiding since the middle of elementary school, when I first dealt with capital-C change) is to find the balance. Find the balance between letting things happen and taking things as they come, and getting things done, decisions made, and logistics mapped out when the time comes. In short, getting comfortable with uncertainty, and managing the panic when the plans change.


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