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Shift Happens

May 19, 2011

I’m feeling it.  Change is happening.  It happens when I log onto Facebook.  I notice people’s statuses, recording life events I now know nothing about.  I see long running posts and comments about plans between friends that I am no longer a part of.  I notice it when I see my friends holding their newborn baby for the first time.  They are instantaneously different in that moment, and now disconnected from me in a beautifully new way.  I feel change as I sit on my sofa with graduate research papers draped over every edge of its fabric.  There are so many pages spread out that I can no longer track where one paper ends and another begins.  I notice it when a friend calls.  When the oven timer goes off to remind me that I didn’t cook a real meal that evening.  I notice it when I sit on my sofa, immovable by the sudden realization of a new phase in life.  I am changing.  I have been changing.  The dynamics of my marriage and my job and my new life as a graduate student have caused the plates of my foundation to shift.  I can feel the pulse of the earth as it rocks beneath me.  I’m becoming different.  I’m becoming separated.  I’m becoming unrelateable.

The shift is no one’s fault, really.  Change is inevitable no matter how hard anyone tries to stay connected through dramatic alterations in life circumstances.  But I feel caught between the cracks of my splitting earth.  I am no longer single, but yet, I do not have a baby.  I am in school, but no longer in college.  I work full time and come home to study full time.  I want nothing more than a full evening out with my girlfriends, but I can’t stay awake passed 9:30.  My life seems to be an endless stream of contradictions.

However, within all this shifting of what was once “normal,” I am being surprised by people.  Many old friends are weathering the changes with me.  And many new friends are coming into my life and helping me build afresh my new reality.  I am grateful tonight for a phone call with another girl in my graduate program.  I hung up the phone after talking with her this evening, and burst out laughing at how easy and wonderful the conversation was.  I was so relaxed, and felt so understood.  I didn’t even hesitate when I first dialed her number to talk.  It is inevitable that with any change, something will be lost and something will be gained.  I am so grateful that she can be my “gain.”

I know I am not the only one trying to hold their ground and friendships and identity through the adjustments life brings.  I know I am not the only one feeling slightly detached from a previous reality.  And I know that these changes I am going through are not even bad.  They are bearing fruit and yielding some incredible relationships and experiences.  But they are changes nonetheless, and change is always complicated.  I am encouraged tonight by the reassurance that, even if the plates are shifting, the pieces will somehow end up back together.  They just might look a little different than they did before.  They just might provide a new perspective on what solid ground really means.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 20, 2011 8:39 am

    Lauren – it seems to be a week to think about changes. You write about them beautifully. I’m thinking of you and of all the new things in your life, and I hope that you find a few minutes to close your eyes on your sofa and just listen to a really good Taylor Swift song or a Glee song or a something-else-equally-upbeat-song, and just enjoy it. I love your writing. Did I mention that already? Yes, I do. Very much.

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