Looking ahead

My optometrist, the guy I have been going to since I was 14, has retired. I don’t blame him – life is short, he’s worked hard all his life and deserves a rest – but it means I have to find someone new. Ugh.

I’m not as good at new as I used to be, and frankly, I wasn’t great at it to begin with, especially when it comes to people. However, if I want to get new glasses, which I definitely need, I’m going to have to make my way into the Land of Change. Ack.

This is a small town, so there aren’t many optometrists to choose from, so my decision, once I decide to make it, should be relatively easy. So why do I keep putting it off? I’m a big girl. I’ve experienced A LOT of change in my life, especially in the last year and a half. It should be getting easier, but I think it’s the opposite. I feel increasingly that I have very little in life, and very few people, that I can really count on. Nothing seems solid, and while I would like to be more fluid, I just am NOT. I want to feel safe, and NEW never feels safe.

Sometimes it’s exciting – new bike, new clothes, new book, new restaurant – but it’s never safe, and that seems to be my overriding desire now. When it comes to people and life, uh…for me, lately, new seems very scary.

Now, I know there is no such thing as safety in this human life, but that doesn’t stop me from desiring it. Just like knowing sugar is bad for me. I have to make a choice to resist. Same with safety. Being safe isn’t going to get me anywhere. Change is a constant and growth is the goal. That’s what I believe about life, but it’s not the way I really want to live. LOL! I don’t have any illusions about that. I’m not a free spirit. I’d like to be, but like brown hair and freckles, that’s not what I got. I may have been like that at one time, but life has worked it out of me.

It’s like that for everyone, isn’t it? Life will break you, no matter who or how you are, and as it turns out, that’s a good thing. What’s the Leonard Cohen song about the cracks being where the light gets in? It doesn’t feel like you’ll survive the breaks, and it’s certainly not a given that you will. If you do, however, for better or worse, you will be changed, and it’s ultimately up to each one of us how that change shows up in our lives.

Life has taught me that most of the time I have to be brave to have what I want. There have been plenty of times when I wasn’t brave, and those times have occasionally left me with regrets. When I was able to overcome my fear of change, good things happened mostly, even though at the time they may not have appeared to be what I wanted or intended. Life=Paradox.

So now I have to be brave and call a new optometrist and make an appointment. And then I’ll have to actually go to the appointment and meet a new person and learn to trust him. Today that seems overwhelming, but it might not seem so tomorrow, so we’ll see. <—- (See what I did there? Optometrist. Ha!)

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