People often say that change is hard, and it’s true. The things is though, change starts in your mind. The thing is, once you’ve walked something out in your mind it’s easy to do in your body. Once you start thinking something it naturally starts slipping out of your mouth. And the more you talk about a thing, particularly to other people, the more natural it sounds, and the easier it is to then go and do.
This works for both good and bad. I’ve seen people slip, through the babiest of baby steps, into life on the streets, hear stories of people slipping into drugs, into prostitution, into obesity, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, bad relationships, bad choices. It’s like you choose a path, and the only choice you get after that is how far down it you want to go. That’s a scary thought.
Now don’t get me wrong, staying on that path is never a given. I’m a born-again bible-bashing Jesus-loving proof that lives can change – but that kind of change takes a lot, sometimes nothing short of a miracle. Me, I was on a path once, and not a very nice one. Maybe we all have. Maybe we can all point to the time, the memory, and think “oh yeah. That”. That relationship. That decision. That job. That place. That. I tend not to think about it much, mostly because there’s no time to and no need to, and That is so far removed from my current reality that I don’t have to, for which I am deeply and eternally grateful. It’s come up a lot recently though, and the smack of it, of those memories, against the direction I’m walking stings.
I’m on a new path now, and those baby steps we all take every day, of choosing to buy a better microwave or deciding to throw out the odd socks in the laundry basket, those baby steps have become circular-legged sprinting strides for me, or so it feels. I don’t know, many people might look at them and say “oh hon, they’re just baby steps”. I’ve had a professional photo taken (see? All that stress about my hair going fluffy, and…four or five different products later, bingo!), started a Facebook “author page” (oh HECK, I’m calling myself a WHAT??), and am about to send my first novel off to an enormous writing competition (the ACFW Genesis competition, for anyone who’s wondering) and prepare myself to go meet agents and editors and sell-sell-sell myself to them in six months.
Deep breath, Megan.
People do these things all the time.
Yesterday a man from the carpet shop came through my house to measure up for new carpets. Well, for carpets. We don’t have any. Today I’m going to buy paint for the walls, and fix the holes in the plaster that have been there for years. My husband is encouraging me to go to the computer shop in town and look at new laptops tomorrow.
People do these things all the time. Deep breath, Megan. It’s okay.
Once and for all, it’s time for me to let go of That. I’m not That person any more, and I haven’t been for a very long time. I don’t need to let That define me. I need to let it go once and for all, to cut it loose, before I find myself pulled out of new-carpet-author-photo-novel-writing land and plonked right again in the middle of That. Not physically, but in the limitations of my mind.
Because that’s exactly what happens. That’s why today That has to go. And if you see me crying in the carpet shop today then you’ll know why. Be nice, okay? Change is harder than it looks.