52 Questions | Week 1


I have formed a little journaling group (open to anyone!) and the idea is to share weekly prompts (I post them on Sundays) and then everyone who wishes or has the time, has the week to think about, create something, art journal, photo journal, blog, etc. about how they feel about the prompt. I created a private group where people can share what they write or create but nobody has to feel as though they have to share to be a part of the group. I've been craving creative connection lately but life has been so busy and challenging lately that I don't have time (or the energy) for a big project or commitment. This is perfect for me and I'm hoping it's rewarding to others as well.  

Here is our first week's prompt and my interpretation of it. 

Unexpected or big change has always been hard for me. Ever since I was a little girl I liked knowing what was coming up ahead so that I could be sure to feel ready. Before making any big decisions I would have to mull things over in my head for some time before committing to anything regarding change out this way it may have appeared that I was quick to decide things, but in reality, I would keep things locked up tight inside until I was really certain about whatever it was that would be changing in my life (the things that I could control). I didn't want the outside noise of other ideas, expectations, or people's thoughts to cloud up the decisions that would affect my life. 

When I was young that looked like not learning to ride my bike without training wheels for some time until bam(!), one day I just did it (because I had practiced it in my mind and just finally decided to do it). It looked like getting my ears pierced (on a whim) when really I had been thinking about it for months and just hadn't told anyone. When a bit older it looked like breaking up with a boyfriend after dating for three years after sitting and watching a morning sunrise - it had been done and over in my mind for some time and in that moment, it was just time to say it our loud. It looked like quitting school and then starting somewhere else, surprising all those closest to me. So many other examples but the gist is that for some time I was able to feel as though I could control the changes that were occurring in my life by either closing off to things until I felt ready or just shutting myself away from acknowledging certain feelings I had regarding changes (death of friends is a good example of this). 

As an adult I have realized that these have been coping mechanisms - my "sort of" arranging my life to eliminate as much change as possible...the act of creating an illusion that there isn't change but in reality there is change happening in my life every day. I know it's the one constant. I also know that I am a creature of comfort and due to life events, my tendency still is to create a false safety net of sorts to feel safe by trying to create a false sense of control when it comes to change. 

When my parents divorced when I went off to college, in my mind, I lost my entire family. I no longer had the home that I grew up in. I no longer had the town where we all lived to go back to. I didn't get to be a part of my mom's "new" family since I was grown up and on my own. I didn't "grow up" with my little sister like I envisioned, etc. Everything changed in an instant, and that shook my world. I think it's that experience that shifted something inside of me where I felt as though I absolutely needed to "control" change and what that would look like in my life. I quickly discovered that doesn't work out so well! I've learned that the more that I resist change, the harder and more difficult my life becomes. If I lean into change and meet it softly, albeit slowly, and with open arms...things tend to go quite a bit better. 

Change is the one thing I can count on in life and over the years I have had to get on board with it or risk missing the boat that takes me through experiencing a genuine and full life. I have gone through so much change it feels (as everyone does) - little changes (moves, health, body changes, milestones, priorities, job changes, etc.) as well as big changes (my dad getting sick with Parkinson's, dad's death, changes to family dynamics and structure, changing roles, dog's death, priorities, living life with a pandemic, homeschooling Zoey, preparing for Zoey to off to college, anticipation of how my life will change with Zoey gone away to school, etc.). 

It would be easy to look at all of this change and be overwhelmed, and in moments when I am going through some of these life experiences I absolutely am (terrified actually!!) but when it comes down to it, I feel that I have grown so much due to every single moment of struggle and worry. Every single one of these experiences surrounding change has required me to be open or to close up and retreat. Working at remaining open has been the route that I've been actively pursuing as it's the one thing that helps me get through to the other side of whatever it is that I'm going through. More often than not, there is something so beautiful waiting for me on the other side. 

My hope is that moving forward, I am able to stay this course and trust and have faith that I will be able to get through any and all changes that may be ahead. Sometimes simply manifesting the belief that all will be well is what can make it so. This reflection is hopefully serving that purpose! 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” -Socrates