Here's a thing I believe to be true - 2012 was a year of Change. The Mayans believe it, Chinese astrology says it's so, and I witnessed it with my own eyes. It's New Year's Day 2013 and I want to share with you some of the things the past year taught me about the nature of Change:
Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, Change is hard. The big changes, the unexpected ones, the life changers. I saw them all around me this past year, in my own life but also in my friends' lives. Mostly they're best kept private, other than to say this kind of Change scares me, makes me panic a bit. It fills me with the feeling that I, or worse, my friends might be swept away by it all.
But then we're not. We are all still here, just changed.
I learned that other times, thankfully, Change is subtle and quiet. I notice a few more gray hairs and I also notice that they please me. They remind me of my Grandma Ruth, and they make me hopeful that I can age as beautifully as she did.
Or a friendship develops without my really noticing. Until I notice. Notice that I'm sharing a glass of wine and a conversation with a person who I used to only exchange friendly greetings with.
This kind of Change, the subtle quiet kind, needs to be noticed. And when it is, it is often exactly what a person needs to feel settled and complete.
I learned that some Change is born out of initiative - a decision is made and an action is taken - a new job, a move, a return to school, a break up. This kind of Change allows me to believe that I am in control. When the initiative is your own, this kind of Change feels productive and purposeful.
I also learned that sometimes it is best to relinquish that feeling of control and allow Change to just happen. This lesson was particularly hard for me, and in some ways I'm still learning that sometimes the best any of us can do is to loosen the grip we have on our plan and simply allow things to follow their own course.
Mostly I learned that Change happens, and it will always happen. Perhaps it will happen loudly and abundantly. Or maybe it will have a softer edge.
Here's another thing I believe to be true - I don't know what happens next. There is a certain sort of peacefulness I've come to notice in this. And so I walk away from 2012 having learned a lot about the nature of Change. I walk away from 2012 and straight into the new year completely resolved to, and fully embracing the idea that I don't know what happens next.