Why is change so hard for so many of us? And I put myself squarely in that category. We hang on to things for longer than we probably should. And stay with them because its easy. Your job, your car, your possessions…like the first tape deck I bought as a little kid with my pocket money which I’ve only just removed from the back cupboard to a pile for the… Op shop? But that’s unfair because no one wants a tape deck so probably off to the rubbish tip. Like my car…
I’d had it for 15 years and even though it was in fantastic condition with only 74,000km on the clock, it had no safety features…one air bag, no abs brakes, bucket seats with no padding and a… tape deck. There seems to be a recurring theme here. It was time to go. But it took someone (well two cars actually) ramming into the back of me and the car being written off for me to finally part with it.
But change is hard. It’s easier to keep the car rather than the hassle of getting it road worthy and advertising it and having people test drive it. It’s easier to shove the tape deck in the back room and close the cupboard door on it telling yourself you can’t part with it because of the memories.
It’s easier to keep the job that you love, stay because of the friendships you’ve made, remain with the company you’ve become attached to. Even though if you really stop and think about it you’d rather not work 12 hours a day and on weekends, rather not have to deal with the office politics, or stress about what’s happening even when you’re on holidays. You can convince yourself that’s what you get paid to do and you stay because it’s easy. And I would have stayed until I retired because yes I loved it…and I hate change.
I have often wondered since the big redundancy whether being there for 17 years, and having accumulated too much on the budget line, was the sole reason for being included amongst the redundancies. For many months I obsessed over the reasons why I was one of the unlucky ones. Why I was a number instead of a human being. Then someone crashed into my car and that was unlucky too. But maybe it wasn’t, maybe they weren’t.
To go back 6 months though I underwent a whole range of emotions related to that change. Heartbreak at the severing of my ‘life’ that was my career, anger that it had happened to me, a sense of loss, fear that caused anxiety attacks, numbness…depression. And while I still feel angry and hurt there is growth from change. I did the same thing managing a design studio for 17 years. I was pushed and challenged and loved my job. And was stressed and worked incredibly long hours and paid for it with my health. But I wouldn’t have left of my own accord no matter how many negatives. Because the positives outweighed them…didn’t they? But in the end it didn’t matter because change was forced on me.
At the time many said to me ‘things happen for a reason’ and whilst I took it in the spirit it was intended, with kindness and love, I didn’t really believe it. But wind the clock forward again and I do believe it. Maybe change, forced or chosen, can be a good thing because it challenges you. My back injury is better than it has ever been due to active rehabilitation, I have run more kimometers than I ever imagined I could including as part of a 1000km relay team, I have qualified as a Cert 3 Fitness Instructor and will soon have my Cert 4 in Personal Training. I am fitter and stronger and healthier than I have ever been in my life and I am free to look at a new career. In an industry that I have always been passionate about but never had the courage to do anything about because I thought all my skills were in advertising and design. Change was forced upon me…and now I wish it had happened 10 years ago. Maybe things do happen for a reason after all.
Thank you KG for that chat all those months ago and your enthusiasm and belief that started me on that road to change.