I used to be quite anxious about change, or really about anything new. My mind would forecast worst case scenarios of all kinds, even when the stakes were quite low – Mondays, first days of school, parties where I didn't know anyone – anxious, anxious, anxious.
As I got older, I came to embrace change, and eventually to crave it.
2016 was jam-packed with newness – new job, new home, new places, new friends, new adventures. Still, at some times, it felt like too much, and on the other hand I sought stability and comfort.
Earlier today I took a walk out on the Sonoma Coast – something I did quite often last year, but have let slip by the wayside in 2017. The last time I had been on this particular trail was in spring 2016.
Diving into memories of the last 364 days as I headed uphill, I expected to end the hike feeling like a lot had changed, that I had come far since the last time I had looked back over my shoulder at the Pacific Ocean.
But really, it hasn't.
Once upon a time, I would have felt pretty swell about maintaining that status quo for so long, but today, that made me feel a bit disheartened, a bit disappointed in myself.
When I look back at 2017, I spent most of my time conserving my precious and limited energy reserves, retreating to my cozy, little home, and seeking solace inside myself. I have long known myself to be an introvert, and derive my energy from being alone, having time to reflect, taking epsom salt baths, and going to sleep at 9 PM on a Friday. Still, adrenal fatigue, stress, seasonal depression, call it what you want, dogged me for most of this past year, and I really just didn't have the energy to go out in the world and be the mover and shaker that I know I can be. Quite rarely did I push myself to take risks in either my personal or professional life, get messy, or really chase after anything. It all was quite familiar and easy. Which, at the time, is what I needed.
I've never been one for New Year's resolutions. Usually I make a list of things I'd like to focus on and yes, occasionally, they have to do with what I'm eating or not eating, but mostly I see them as just simply words that act as reminders throughout the year.
One of these words for 2018 is "change." As someone prone to habits, who used to fear change, and whose default is still to choose the familiar over the unexpected, I already know that this is going to be a tough one to live out.
But without change, where would I be?