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Thoughts on Change

as_the_earth_turnsFair warning: this post isn’t about baseball, or really even sports. Not unless you squint. What can I say? The O’s are on the west coast.

So, instead, this is a post about change.

The reason things have been quieter around here for the past year and a half or so is the immense amount of change I’ve been experiencing. New job, new responsibilities, new opportunities, new house (bought rather than rented for the first time), a handful of losses and wins.

The quieter scene here at TLC is itself a change. After 6+ years this site occupies a different spot relative to my overall list of priorities. Not better or worse, just different. Some of that is intentional, some of it less so. All completely acceptable as a good outcome. Hell, I never thought this site would last 6 years to begin with so the fact that it’s still here and I still want to write for it is a nice thing.

Sometimes I find it hard to trace the paths. Change is one of those things that weighs a ton on a conceptual level but is much harder to pin down in real terms. You need more than just moments themnselves to understand their scope — you need to see where everything settles. Once you do you’re faced with a range of successes, surprises, and (inevitably) disappointments. Many of which you probably didn’t notice right away, and each of which is good in its own way. Even (and sometimes especially) the disappointments.

Humans have an uneasy relationship with change. Not knowing what’s coming next is uncomfortable. This is why we get trapped in jobs or relationships or homes or cycles we don’t enjoy. Knowing what to expect offers great comfort, even if we don’t precisely like it.

You want to know why every 20-year old kid with swagger and a guitar and a way with words doesn’t become George Jones (RIP)? Why every workshop hacker doesn’t start the next Apple? Why every Piano Man isn’t Billy Joel?

Talent and luck, sure, but there’s also a heavy dose of inertia. Staying in place because the leap is too much to bear. It’s the devil you know.

But here’s the thing: you don’t actually know that devil at all. Not by a damn sight. Change is coming one way or another and the puncher’s chance lies in figuring out how maybe you can get out ahead of it a little bit. Making some of those leaps before the leaps make you. Or at least learning how to land better.

We are, always, actors and passengers. When a given moment falls fully on one side or the other of that spectrum we do OK. The problem is that life is lived in the overlap, where we’re both in control and not in control. Where we have choices to make but can’t be certain of what the outcome will be or even where those choices will ultimately fall on what we’ll finally, in hindsight, recognize as a continuum.

Why post this? Because based on my own recent experience I can say that I wasn’t really prepared. Which means that maybe one or two of you reading this aren’t prepared. Now, then, is your moment. Think about the fact that at any moment, change is coming. Go ahead and start to get comfortable with it. Because if you do that, and if you get comfortable enough, you might just enjoy it.

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