I hate change. Seriously, I do -- when I move into a place, I put the furniture down and never move it again. Never. If I like the green curry or beef teriyaki at a restaurant, I will order that and nothing else, or if I do order the red curry, I will immediately regret it. I have worn my hair the same way for about, oh, 25 years now. So making all the changes I've made in the past seven years has been unsettling, to say the least: deciding to end a 28-year marriage, playing the dating game for the first time in 30 years, meeting and marrying a wonderful man, acquiring the little girl I'd always wished for, moving far from where I'd lived for most of my adult life, changing positions at work, actively planning my retirement -- and wondering where I got the ooomph to do it all, to uproot myself from essentially everything I've ever known and plunk myself down in a completely different world.
Accompanying all these life changes has been a creative change as well -- having defined myself as a writer since childhood, I am now reinventing myself as a photographer and artist. In a way, the change from being accomplished in my work and creative life to being a newbie, from being a teacher to a learner, from being verbal to visual, has been as startling and unsettling as any of the other major changes I've made -- in a way, more so. It involves literally seeing the world differently, from a different vantage point, and also opening myself up to experimentation, error, and failure, along with surprise, delight, and success. It has moved me way out of my comfort zone, but in the end, that's a good thing, because it allows me to see that hating change is a way of staying closed to life, of hoarding up and protecting what's safe and predictable, of saying no to the possibilities that still exist out there, no matter what stage of life you're walking through.
"So I turned myself to face me . . . " If nothing ever changes, then you never have to take a look at yourself, because it's all so well known. Take a chance. Turn and face the strange.
And here are some little orchids that are kind of strange.
[Thanks to Florabella Textures]