I don’t handle change well. Is that a surprise? I’m not sure very many people do handle change well. It’s hard. Sometimes it hurts. And frankly, you never know just what’s on the other side of that mountain, or that relationship, or that…anything.
It’s the not knowing that can be difficult. Change is hardly ever wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow on it. And, at least in my life, it’s not ever been some hot guy jumping out of a cardboard cake. No wonder change is difficult.
The other thing I find frustrating about change is the saying good-bye. Whenever change comes into your life (no matter how great the change is), saying good-bye isn’t easy. Finding that perfect someone is great, but the tradeoff is saying goodbye to life as a single person. Moving is fun (once all the packing/unpacking is over), but you say goodbye to your familiar world in the process.
This week, a change in my life is becoming more real every day. It’s a change I’ve been hoping would happen for a long time. I’ve told people “if only xyz would happen, I’d be so excited.” It’s something I want, but also something that’s hard to follow through with. Because of the saying goodbye part, because I don’t know what’s going to be on the other side of that mountain.
Usually, when I’m flummoxed with how to handle change, I watch the movie Father of the Bride. There’s something about watching Steve Martin fumble through letting his “little girl” get married and then finding out his wife is pregnant that gives me a little perspective. But when I moved three years ago, we got rid of that movie. For some reason, I was certain that DVD that weighs nothing was going to put us over on our moving allowance. #facepalm
So…I went to a friend for a little informal therapy. I told her what I was worried about. I told her how scared I am to face this change. I told her about all the mixed up, jumbled up feelings that were bouncing around on the inside of me. At first she was no help. It was as if she’d forged that informal therapist degree after all and really had no idea what she was doing. Until I told her the metaphor that summed up my emotions.
“It’s like I’m going to Spain. I would love to go to Spain. I’m sure Spain is beautiful. But once I get there, I’ll only know how to say “how are you” and “my name is” in Spanish. Everything else will be completely foreign to me.”
And that’s when she nailed her role of informal therapist. She pulled out a song. And had the nerve to sing it. It’s a good thing she’s got a pretty great voice. If she didn’t have, I might have just burst into tears.
I was so intrigued with the lyrics she sang that I handed her my iPhone and had her find the song so that I could purchase it right then. I’d heard another one of the group’s songs before (I can’t remember the title of it now), but hadn’t heard this song.
Never Been to Spain by Three Dog Night. Have you heard this song before? It’s my new Steve Martin…until I purchase that movie again and then I’ll alternately watch the movie and play the song on a loop until I get through the six months it takes me to adapt to change.
The first line is: Well I never been to Spain / But I kinda like the music.
I was sold. The beat of the music is soothing. The words are fitting for the metaphor of going to Spain and instead of fretting about this change; I was able to reframe it to “going to Spain.”
And who wouldn’t want to go to Spain? It’s beautiful there. It has a romance language and surely there are hot guys who jump out of cardboard cakes. Right? If there’s not, please don’t spoil the dream for me. Just let me live in my delusional world.
Are you facing a change in your life? I challenge you to stop worrying about it. Or at least, try to curb your worry. You can try eating your feelings (I did that before I went to informal therapy) but if you can, try something else. Try reframing the business of change that’s about to enter your life. Go to Spain. Take the lyrics from Three Dog Night with you. Find out what’s on the other side of that mountain. Seek the hot guy who jumps out of the cardboard cake. It might be scary, but it’ll be worth it.