circa 2011

 I may be obsessed with the idea of change.  My mom told me that when I was little, I’d change my clothes at least 6 times a day.  I wanted to change our toothpaste, change our music, change our furniture, change our moods, our foods, our house-style.  Her means of providing a childhood of consistency and stability equated to boring so I’ve been in search of new things ever since. If you know me or you’ve read up on me, I know you know this.

As an adult, most of the jobs I’ve taken were with companies at a point of embarking change: a change to find new customers, a change to infuse new life and ideas, to change an image, to change someone’s style, to change someone’s mindset, to change someone’s perspective, to change bleeding bank accounts. Ah, change. I love it.

But why are others such scared-y cats?

As I see it, there are basically two types of change: the kind you want and the kind you don’t want.  The change that you want, you instigate, so you welcome that kind of change with unabashed open arms. The other kind of change pops up unannounced. Yep, it just sneaks up on you unwarranted, so unfriendly-like.  It is as welcome as an uninvited house guest, spontaneously showing up with multiple bags in hand to make a home on your couch, eat your leftovers, and drink that *real* champagne you’ve kept chilling at the bottom of your refrigerator for just that one special occasion.  Those are the changes that are not only unwelcome, but they are downright feared. Meow!

I Googled, “Do people like to change?” and a whole page of negative articles popped up.  Most people fear change and so is change bad?  Most do not like it.  Nope, not with a goat or in a boat. Most will not try it.  Most will not ever try green eggs and ham.  But what is there really to be afraid of?  It is simply the fear of the the unknown.  There is the fear that reality today won’t be reality tomorrow and this New may not be better.

It’s safe to live in predictable, expectable, foreseeable.  What we know allows us to follow a pre-determined path or plan and this state of normalcy is comforting. For so many, resisting change has become almost subconscious because the habit of doing something the same way for a lengthy period of time ingrains a belief that the same-same MUST be right, and thus there MUST be something wrong with New or Different.

What would happen if we changed our outlook on fear to an embraceable curiosity with trust and courage? 

But alas, inevitably, change just happens.  Always has, always will.  What would happen if instead of fearing change, we welcomed it? That’s right: rather than curse it, refuse it, fight it and deny it, why not embrace and love it?  If we stop pouring energy in prevention and feeding it negativity, we would/could cultivate the New with positivity and good intentions. If we embraced the new wrinkle, the new grey hairs, the new circle of friends, the new city to live, and the new in-laws like we would a new car, adventure,  a new idea, or new hobby, we’d have a new mindset, n’est-ce pas?

You don’t always have to resist.

To make a hearty, bonafide mindset shift, it takes a true calling from within.  It’s all really about the world you create…in your mind.

Mais oui, everything is easier said than done, so here are some points that only wisdom (aka getting older!) can reveal:

On the Greys:  Instead of spending so much time and so many dollars at the salon so frequently, try adopting a look that works with those silver strands of tinsel.  I know you know granny gray has been a trend, and I know you know it doesn’t work for everyone.  But, if you’ve been one to wear a classy monotone dark hair color, maybe it’s time to try something different, something that requires less maintenance to keep hiding and denying your natural and organic change.  Hint hint: don’t think this lightened Asian hair is for kicks, ladies.  There is purpose behind this madness!

On the Aging:  I’m NOT saying to let the dry skin, dark circles, wrinkles and creases have way with your face and spirit.  What I am saying is to take care of these rewards of wisdom and age with good products and care. DO NOT STRESS OVER THEM.  It is normal to change over time, it is normal to get older.  Unless you make a living on The Days of Our Lives or The Young and the Restless, life changes and the way they show up on you are expected.  Just in case I’m not, please let me be clear: take care of yourself and work with your changes.  Accepte vos changements!  For me, a big change is how I buy and use beauty products.  As a die-hard of every beauty product and makeup that’s new, colorful, trendy and beautiful, I realized that the same way I was wearing my makeup for decades wasn’t having the same effect.  In a bad way.  So today, my new mode is to wear less makeup (or should I say “color”) and have found a whole new line of products in the process.  Milk Makeup.  And hey, weirdly, it’s a trend!

On the Breakup:  Ok, easier said than done, and I haven’t don’t his one for a while, but I have.  Many times…because I’m old for JC’s sake!  And because hindsight is 20/20,  I look at a breakup as a super opportunity for a fresh start.  You can reinvent yourself.  You can break old habits, start new ones. You can set new rules for yourself and your potential future love(s). You can author your own renaissance.  Yes, I know breakups hurt and of course we mourn the loss.  Yes, you will be sad for a little, be mad if you must.  When you’re done, be true to yourself by focusing on yourself and the things that make you happy.  I’m not talking about boozing it up with whiskey and wine tout les temps but why not try something that makes your soul sing with joy and makes you feel like a beautiful bird whose owner left the cage door right before he himself took flight to another life.  Ok, I see some may look at this sudden loss of being controlled as a sort of paralysis, but if ya’ flip that fear into cheer…you are bound to encounter your belle époque.

On the Re-Org:  Random, right?! Again, lotsa opportunity for fear, not a lot of obvious reason for cheer, at first glance.  This one, I admit, could really make or break someone’s fear thresholds fo’ real.  Maybe this re-organization moves you to another unit with new colleagues and new job duties, and/or it moves you to working under a new boss, or maybe it un-employs you.  This can cause some bonafide stress, but before it freezes you in fear…STOP. COLLABORATE AND LISTEN.

There is a reason for this change, yes there is a lesson to be had.  Perhaps you were tired of doing the same ol’ thing every day.  Perhaps you couldn’t admit it. Perhaps you were too comfortable and complacent to make a change.  Perhaps you’ve been concocting a dream of opening a new bubble bar downtown that would sell soap and serve champagne and bubbly waters from all over the world.   And perhaps now is your time and the universe is giving you the green light and fire under your buns to GO.

Go with the change-flow, yo, and be freeeeeeeeeee.

Do it. Live it. Love it. Work it.

Yes, like that.