Change. They say it’s the only thing you can count on in this world, and yet people have mixed feelings about it. Dread, eagerness, fear, hatred, relief, or even indifference. Often, the emotion tied to it depends on the change itself and how it comes to our door. A change for the better that comes unexpectedly is commonly called a “welcome change.” A turn for the worse that drops on us suddenly is called … well, it’s called lots of names, many of which I can’t repeat here.
Just as often, how we react to change depends on its source. If we initiate it, then there is some measure of control, and from that, a measure of comfort. If we are blindsided, then sometimes, instinct takes over.
But not all change is apparent. There are instances when the change happens ever so slowly, gradually making itself at home, steadily and incrementally establishing itself until you wake up one day, suddenly realizing what happened, not quite sure how it all came down.
I’ve been in a reflective mood about change these days because of this.
See that? That’s almost 9 inches of hair. My hair. 9 inches that crept up on me without me realizing it. Who knows how much extra shampoo it forced me to buy? Not to mention all those extra minutes trying to towel dry the unruly mane (believe it, my hair is anything but ruly). Life was so crazy and bigger changes were happening all around me that this little half-inch-a-month change went on unnoticed.
When I finally noticed it, I admit, instinct took over. I immediately went to take care of it, but then remembered that I left my samurai swords in the Philippines (yes, I sooo have a samurai sword collection). And then I remembered I was a grown up, and made an appointment with my hairdresser who had all but forgotten who I was. She probably thought I got deported for trying to smuggle swords into the country.
My call dashed her hopes.
With one neat snip of her shears, this change that crept up on me was gone. Just like that. And as a bonus, I learned that it was long enough to donate to help children with cancer. So my story has a happy ending—a better one that I expected.
Until I spotted this.
It’s these slow, stealthy, cumulative changes that get us all the time. Hair, weight, apathy, resentment, guilt, or even regret—they all have the tendency to sneak up on us and keep growing. Sometimes that’s okay, but sometimes, we’ve got to start hacking away.
I’m here for you if you need me.