i tell people that change is bad, very very bad and i don’t think they get what i mean. for me, a change is any event that i haven’t specifically decided i want happening in my life.
as an example, let me tell you something that happened at the last place that i worked. one day, several of my male coworkers had a conversation about the relative merits of a woman naked and wet from a shower versus a woman naked and wet from a thunderstorm. there was a higher level employee sitting right there but he didn’t say or do anything about the conversation. neither did i. another time, those same coworkers had a conversation about how people coming out needed to acknowledge that they were hypocrites, liars, and abnormal. this time i couldn’t stay silent and when i asked if we could not have that conversation while at work, one of my coworkers asked if i couldn’t handle it. i said it was a matter of being in a professional environment and that perhaps the topic was not appropriate. a coworker a few seats down from me stood up and said, “and so long as you’re keeping track of who’s abnormal, i’m gay.”
when i approached a supervisor to report that i felt the office was becoming a hostile work environment, i was given a verbal reprimand. apparently politely asking for the discussion to stop was the wrong way to handle it, despite the fact that every training class i’ve ever been to (and i’ve been working since i was 15) said to approach the employee and try to handle it before approaching management. nothing happened to my coworkers. my husband and i talked about everything and i decided to quit.
now, quitting a job is one of the top stressors in a person’s life but i didn’t consider it a change. it was a well thought out, discussed, weighed, and planned decision that was made based on all the facts we had at the time and our decision about whether or not the situation would/could change in the future. this was a subtraction from my life, but not a change.
when i got hired for the position i hold now, it was an addition to my life not a change. again, starting a new job is considered a stressor in a person’s life, but for me it was a considered and thought out decision to make an addition to my life. not a change.
a change was when our corgi died so unexpectedly.
a change was when i hit a deer on the highway (and, for the record, that deer callously and with malice aforethought jumped in front of me with the intention of wrecking my brand new kia soul) and was out of work for more than a week and didn’t get my kia back for three months.
making an addition or subtraction from my life is a good and necessary thing. it’s like pruning a tree or a bush. it keeps my life from getting stagnant. but change is bad, very very bad. it’s unexpected, scary, out of my control, and never wanted. most people don’t see the difference when i try to explain this to them. i really think it’s just a linguistic barrier though, not a real difference in how we handle the events in our lives.