A few years ago, I lie crumpled on the floor of our laundry room. I was a sobbing heap, a tangled mess. I can’t remember now if this was over a heartbreak that was once devastating or if this was over losing a friend, but I was sitting there crying about the world ending. To be fair, I was probably 16. My world was school and my gf and my friends- and band. I can admit this.
As I lay there, I remember asking my mother questions. Why it was so hard to lose someone or something? Why did people have to go away, anyways? Why could we not just reinvent the relationship and make it work in some other way?
I feel like, at 24, I still ask these questions.
My mother said to me all the best things that mentors do. She said that person wasn’t meant to be in my life. If they were they would find me again. She said that I was most worried about the change and that I didn’t do well with it, anyways. She said a lot. None of it really sunk in. I was 16 and a high school relationship was ruining my universe.
She would repeat these words often.
Flash forward about 8 years. I had just moved to Hawaii. My fiancee from a relationship of 4 years had skyped me from Afghanistan to tell me that she had not loved me in a long time and would just like to end things.
End things….while I was sitting on her laptop on our bed with our dogs in our house while she was 14.5 hours time difference away……
And I had SUCH a hard time letting go.
Again, my mother said: “You are just hating the change, Sarah. That’s the hardest part. I think you know, deep down, you were not meant to be. The hardest part is moving out and moving on. Once you get that down…you will be ok.”
And it was. It took me a few months to be able to afford a place and move out. I moved to another side of the island and started a new life. Change is the hardest part.
This was true of losing lovers, graduating college, moving to new places, starting new jobs.
Half of me embraces change so much. I can’t sit still. I love adventure! I was somewhat surprised when my mother told me that I did not handle change well.
But she was right.
I handle adventure just fine and I love it.
But change…REAL change. Christ I am terrible at that. I protest it with every fiber of my being. I shove it aside in mass quantities as if I am trying to bail it out of my lifeboat to keep me from sinking.
I love routine and security and home.
So now, here I am facing change again. This time, I at least realize and observe why I am feeling like a churning bag of emotions with a killer anxiety headache.
My current gf is deploying to Afghanistan. We spent all of two months together before she left and then a week of pass she had in Texas. It should be no surprise that things are a little rough, but there is still this part of me that clings to security and wants it. I over analyze text messages and mood changes trying to look for reasons behind everything.
I was so happy to see her in Texas. We had so much fun….and then it ends, you know. The last two days start to fill with more apprehension. The plane ride back is brutal. 9 months is seeming so much longer.
And I have one hand clinging to hope and security and one hand trying to bail out the rising water.
Because change is the hardest part and that’s what my whole world is doing right now.
Best friends moved away. I am far from family. I am starting a new school year. My gf is deploying. I am alone in this for the first time ever.
So here I am half thinking this is a great chance to learn and grow and half thinking I should run home on the next flight and just live at home.
But you gotta stick it out. You never know what could happen when the dust settles.
It’s just change.
But change is the hardest part.