I’m not the new me.

I don’t like change. Especially change for the sake of change. I don’t mind good, necessary change if you give me time to adjust, but you have to give me time. Probably more time than the average person, and then I’ll probably go kind of crazy, and then after that I’ll be fine. That’s usually how it all goes down with me. A recent example of this was our new computer system at work. I kept messing things up, and I asked for a week with some extra time at my desk to get things done, and after that week, I was like, “Wow, the new system works really well!” But I had to freak out and ask for that extra time in order to get there. Now they’re talking about changing some stuff again, and I’m like, “Wait! I just learned this one! Can’t we use it for at least a year or so!” hehe.

This week I was thinking about different phases of my life, and how I had to learn how to be in each of those phases. When I went to college, I had to learn how to be a college student and an adult. I had to learn to live with a roommate and how to make good decisions and take care of myself. I didn’t do it all right, but I learned how to do it, learning a lot about myself in the process.

When we got married, there was a learning curve then, too. That’s why people say the first year is hard – even if you can roll with the punches a little better than I can, there’s a lot of adjusting to do. Your life’s pretty different. It’s a good kind of different, but even good change can be difficult to adjust to. I didn’t do all of that right, either (in fact, I did a lot of things very wrong), but, again, it worked out, and I grew because of it, in so many ways.

Since getting married, Mike and I have gone through some big changes. Our relationship really changed about three years ago, and since then I finished grad school and got a job and Mike quit his job and started school. There were good things and difficult things, but they were all big things, and I don’t think I’ve completely adjusted. I feel like a bad wife when I can’t get dinner on the table, even though I’m working 40 hours a week, most nights until 6:00. I get frustrated with myself when I still respond out of fear or bad habits. I don’t always know how to handle the busy-ness of life. I’m way better at this stuff than I was three years ago, but I’m not there yet. There were things this week that brought that into focus. And it was pointed out to me that I keep expecting myself to adjust to change quickly when I know that I’m not one to actually be able to do that. Especially when it comes to big change or issues that are close to my heart – my relationship with Mike, my role in our home, the way I view myself. I probably won’t go back and become the same person that I was before all this change, and that’s okay. You can’t unlearn the things you’ve learned. But I need to accept that, for me, growth and change come in stages, and some of my stages are going to be longer than I think they ought to be. I need to take care of myself and quit putting so many expectations on what growth and change and healing ought to look like.

So, what I’ve learned this week is that I’m not the new me. Not yet. But I’m getting there.

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  1. Maybe it’s good that you’re not the New You. New things aren’t always good; New Coke sucked in ways that defy simple explanation. Maybe New Kari would be like New Coke – well-advertised, but ultimately made out of camel urine.

    But good old Classic Kari, like Classic Coke, is made out of sugar, spice, and everything nice. 🙂

    Posted 2/17/2006 at | Permalink
  2. Kari

    New Kari could be like Coke Zero – all the taste of Classic Coke, none of the calories.

    Posted 2/17/2006 at | Permalink
  3. True; but unlike beverages, people are supposed to be made out of calories. And carbs, and fats, and proteins. Being around someone is supposed to be rewarding at times, hilarious at times, comforting at times, difficult at times; and it seems like Kari Zero would be like one of those too-cheery, too-perfect people we all know from church – they’re perfectly nice, but you know that you can’t stand to be around them for more than a few minutes or you want to papercut yourself to death with that week’s program.

    I can only speak for myself, of course, but I’ve come to really love your writing and your brutal honesty because your life isn’t neat and perfect. If you weren’t the charming, adorable, hilarious, fucked-up lady we all love, I doubt many people would still read your blog. 🙂

    Posted 2/17/2006 at | Permalink
  4. Jason

    Steve: Using the F Word to Encourage People since 1984.

    Posted 2/21/2006 at | Permalink

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