Changing Course

Several people I love are going through life changes. Or are gearing up to go through some changes. What this means is that circumstance or time has brought them up against the fact that things aren’t working out for them in the way they are currently living. They have all known for quite some time that things are not going the way they want, but they have been too tired, too busy, too depressed or too confused to figure a way out of their current situation. They are not sure of what they really want, but they have decided that their present situation is for sure what they don’t want.

When you are removed a step or two, you can see these things long before they do. But when you love somebody, you don’t push them to do things they are not ready to tackle. You let them talk about things, try to hear what they are really saying, and offer what support you can in their current circumstances. You might (okay I might, cause I can’t seem to help myself) float a few options out there and see how they respond. You might bounce a few alternatives around, or mention something that worked for you once upon a time.

Mostly, a good friend listens, consoles, supports and, in my case, feeds people. Cause when you are in that interim, sort of convalescent stage of getting over one way of life, but not quite ready to pick up on another phase, I strongly believe in hot baths, naps and comfort food.

If you can’t be present to draw the bath or cook the soup, you need to be a cheerleader. You can do that from afar. You remind them that they are in motion. You point out that they are at least moving away from dysfunction, even if they haven’t mapped out the next step. As Mr. GG, a scientist, often reminds me: “Negative data is still data”.

Which I translate to: “If you know what you don’t want, try something different”. Clues are out there, but they are mostly in yourself. If you let yourself, you know what has brought you joy, satisfaction, fulfillment or at least some giggles in the past. Put yourself in those kind of situations again. The thing is, this stuff doesn’t just happen. You have to take an active role. And personal experience has shown me that you can get pretty comatose before you muster up the energy to do something. It is really cool if you can switch gears while you are still moving – it beats the hell out of grinding to a stop and wallowing in inactivity until you are so sick of yourself you will do anything to get going again.

Back before Mr. GG, my modus operandi was to bail out on things. On situations, people, places. When things were not working, I quit. Often I quit before things tanked, because I didn’t want to be the pathetic one clinging to a hopeless romance, job, etc. Mr. GG was the catalyst for my biggest changes. I wanted him, and I wanted what we had together. That meant I had to stay in the trenches and slog along when things got tricky, or dull, or tense. And I’m here to tell you it was hard work. Still is from time to time. But it is worth it for me. Our relationship gave me the framework, and other things fell into place in relation to that framework. But your focal point doesn’t have to be a relationship – it can be a job, or a career, or a place or a passion for just about anything that has meaning to you.

I know people that have switched focus by moving to a new place, by taking up a hobby, making a commitment to their health, or by purging extraneous stuff and people from their lives. I know people who were forced to switch focus by death or finances or ill health. And I know most people are amazingly resilient. So I have faith in the ones who are close to me and moving with a new tide… they are all bright, competent folk who will get things figured out. It is kind of hard waiting in the wings, looking on, while big changes happen, but I am eager to see what is next for them. And when they are not being anxious, I know they are, too. Hey guys, I’m here for you.


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