I hate change. It makes me uncomfortable, nervous, scared. When I was nine, my family prepared to move from the town where we had lived for five years to a small community nearly a thousand miles away. While it was hardly my first move, it was the first one that I was old enough to feel, to have my own life and friendships impacted by. In the weeks before the move, I expressed my discomfort with the whole thing to my father, who shared with me his thoughts on moving. The problem with moving, he said, is not necessarily that we don't want to leave; it's that we can't take the pieces of our old home that we like so much with us to the new home. He was right--my friends parents were unlikely to pick up their own lives and move with us to accomodate me. Our house couldn't be put on a truck and hauled across the mountains. I wasn't at all opposed to growing--to meeting new people and experiencing new things; I just wanted to keep the comfortable pieces of my old life with me, too.
Throughout my life, I've thought about his comment several times--not just when moving, but when faced with all sorts of changes. As the song suggests, a fresh start--be it a new city or a new job--follows an ending, and as much as we'd like to keep the best parts of one experience as we move onto another, most times we just can't.
Today, I'm hanging out in the in-between, thanks to a well-placed holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the in-between gives me time to think more about the experience that ended yesterday. After three and a half years, I no longer work for the Girl Scouts. This was my first experience with a permanent full-time position, and I learned so much about bureaucracy in practice, about workplace dynamics, and about myself. Am I disappointed that what I learned about myself didn't mesh with the bureaucracy and what my job became? Absolutely. Am I still completely impressed by the young women who are products of the program and its mission? Yep. Do I still want to keep those young women, the colleagues who promote that mission, and the program opportunities we created a part of my life? Of course. I didn't leave because I could not stand every part of it--but how much of the old can I (or should I) try to take with me into the new?
As with all changes, I will try to keep those best parts of the Girl Scouts in my new life. Odds are, most of them will fall by the wayside as I explore new opportunities. The very best of them will not. Here's to growth.
Title: "Closing Time" by Semisonic