by Arianna Wheat
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two things that naturally occur with ease, but suddenly become more difficult when you consciously think about them; one is breathing, and the other is Change.
Rarely if ever have I welcomed sudden change in my life. I am moving into a place where I am actively embracing the thought that my cumulative efforts will create the change I want over time. I will also face changes that are unwelcome. Change, whether welcome or unwelcome tends to bring up feelings for me of overwhelm, and fear of not being enough. Because change inherently means that my life is shifting in the direction of the unknown. At a pivotal moment in my life, I found myself full-on bargaining with the Universe in a journal entry:
...I thought I was just starting a business in the corner of my room, during a pandemic and revolution. Turns out I was starting… I was starting…? Um. Uh...I lost it. I cannot find the word. I am filled with doubt. I am filled with insecurity which I sometimes mistake for insincerity. IF I finish this sentence then I have to commit right? Then I have to say, HERE I AM treat me as an equal. I am ready to lean in. I am ready to be a thriving business owner. Will I have to get a power suit? I would prefer a floral, or animal print robe. WHAT IF I STOP BEING ME??? I will become a businesswoman. WHAT if I have to break up with struggle and become a person who honors her commitments, and boundaries? How many people will I lose once I start showing up for myself? If I complete this sentence my identity will shift, and I have already done a lot of shifting in this year and a half. If I make this commitment, do you, UNIVERSE, promise me that I don’t have to change anymore, and that everything I want will just come to me, and that this won’t be scary, and challenging? Do you solemnly swear to not break my heart if I make this commitment???
I’m laughing as I read this, but I also still relate to it wholeheartedly. I know that the Universe will not sign this contract. I know the universe is committed to my growth and change. The Universe is Change- (if you haven’t read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, stop making bread and get in on that!) The part of me that wants to change is enough for me to grow right now. I do not have a full-on master plan, but I have some new dreams that I never had before, and I really want to see what happens if I bring them out into the world. Sometimes when I say yes to change, it feels as if Change is a giant lovable pit bull, dragging me about the city for her morning run. I am desperately trying to keep pace with a wild force that is just pulling me along. But I think, Well I hope if I keep showing up, stay curious, take the help that is given, and continue to ask for what I need, then I think Change and I can learn to walk together.
In the volleyball anime called Haikyu, the team manager offers encouragement to her underclassman by saying, "I don't think you need an unwavering will...to get started, I think you just need a little bit of curiosity." We do not have to be defined by our overwhelming passion and commitment to make a change. We are not required to have an unwavering and unbreakable will to make a change. We just need to be curious and keep showing up. If I focus on my curiosity, instead of my outcomes, then maybe I don't have to worry so much about whether or not I am capable of being the person I want to be. Maybe, the capable version of me will be there at the finish line if I just start walking towards her.
Arianna Wheat is a storyteller, writer, drama therapist, coach, and intergalactic space goddess providing telehealth services from a spacious corner in Los Angeles.