Hello, you lovely thing. Are you excited about your weekend?
This post is one that I’ve been avoiding for a while, because I think it’s going to be pretty difficult to write. The subject matter makes me want to cry and stamp my feet, so do bear with me. If I start getting hysterical just throw a biscuit at me or something.
At the end of this month, Ash and I will be vacating our beloved flat. We’ve been living in Bag End for a year, and we’ve had an amazing time here. We have had lots of lovely friends round to visit, hosted parties that defy the (minuscule) proportions of the floor space, danced around the kitchen to cheesy music, spilled coffee everywhere , had heart to hearts in the middle of the night and eaten unholy amounts of cheese. It’s been bloody brilliant.
When we leave Bag End Ash will be moving home to save up for her trip to New York, and I will be moving to South London with one of my sisters. Both of these are excellent and exciting things, but they are big changes. I freaking hate changes.
Change is difficult for a lot of people to cope with because it involves uncertainty, which is something that humans are not wired to cope with very well. We fear things like death and the dark because they represent obscurity: we have no way of knowing what they contain. It’s the same with big changes. How on earth can we be happy about them when we don’t know what they’ll entail?
It also comes down to a control and participation issue. When we voluntarily make decisions that affect change, we can be happy because we’ve elected them. Booking trips abroad, starting a new job and getting into relationships all fall into this category. Being forced into change by other people’s decisions or circumstances beyond our control creates the opposite feeling: why should we have to participate in changes that we never wanted? Why should we be forced into changing jobs, moving house or changing our relationship status? If I may paraphrase William Ernest Henley’s poem slightly: “I am the master of my Facebook profile; I am the captain of my post code.”
I have realised that the trick to dealing with unwanted change is to look at it as an adventure rather than a crisis. Bilbo Baggins didn’t want to leave Bag End any more than I do, but he went on to have a very jolly time. (You know, except for the orcs and the massive spiders and stealing treasure from a dragon and everything.) If we are never forced out of our comfort zones we never get to explore who we are or challenge ourselves, and both of those are very important things to do.
The other thing is that if we choose to look at enforced life changes in a negative way, it won’t affect any of the outcomes. When we choose resentment over optimism we are only hurting ourselves. Universal justice, fate, God or whatever life-affecting force you believe in probably doesn’t respond to sulking.
With that in mind, I’m going to start packing up my stuff. I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity to re-alphabetise my books (which may sound like a pretty tremulous silver lining, but that kind of thing genuinely matters to me, because I’m a nerd). Have a glorious weekend.