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Thank you for the kind words about work.  I’m not good with change in general, and I’m especially not fond of endings.  There’s nothing after an ending, you know.  It’s like a period at the end of a sentence.

I finished The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close, and there was one paragraph I really liked that came to me at the right time:

Here’s what I still hate about DC: the way that nothing is permanent, the feeling that everything and everyone you know, could (and does) wash away every four or eight years.  All of these important people, so ingrained in the city — you can’t imagine that this place could exist without them.  But one day they’re gone and everything keeps moving just the same.  Who can get their footing in a place like this?  It feels like quicksand to me (page 299).

That is a decent summary of what makes DC different from other cities.  Things change here, often.  There were classmates who were with me from Kindergarten through senior year, but there was always a chunk that would move here because their parents got a government job and move out by the next administration.  That is the story of a lot of our friends from early in our marriage.

Sometimes a friend will move to a new place, and they’ll tell me how hard it is to break into the community.  How most of the people have lived there their whole lives.  That is not DC.  It is fairly easy to slip into this city, and it’s fairly easy to slip out.

There are people who are fantastic with transitions.  They love starting new jobs or moving to a new place.  Or, if they don’t love it, they are at least fine with the idea.  They see the positives in change, and they get itchy when they need to stay tied down to one thing for too long.

That is not me.

I am incredibly loyal and long-lasting and unchanging.  I don’t like moving or switching jobs or even ending finite projects, like books.  (I cry at the end of every book.  With the last one, ChickieNob walked into the room while I was lying on Josh’s chest, sobbing, and she sighed, “Mummy must have put the book to bed.”)  I like eating the same foods for the same meals, day after day after day.  I shop at the same stores, buying the same products, even if it is less expensive at a different place.  I even like to drive in the same lane on the road every time I am traveling to a local spot.  Same same same same same.

Sameness is what makes me happy, and maybe it’s because I come from a place where change is part of the atmosphere.

Do you think the place where you grow up shapes how you deal with the world as an adult?


1 torthuil { 09.27.16 at 7:42 am }

Absolutely. I didn’t realize how much I belonged to the place I grew up till I moved away for a while. On the other hand I know people who had the opposite experience. Depends I guess. Hahahaha I drive in the same lanes too and always the same route.

2 swati { 09.27.16 at 8:11 am }

Even I am uncomfortable with many changes, but sometimes they come with pleasant surprises.

3 a { 09.27.16 at 8:31 am }

I like routine and continuity, but I get bored too. I don’t like change for the sake of change. I’ve been working at the same job for 21 years, but really want to move to a different house. That’s mostly about the school district, but I am also sick of our house.

However, I change lanes all the time, mostly because people don’t understand how lanes work. The left lane is for passing or turning left! Don’t sit there because you intend to turn left someday!

4 loribeth { 09.27.16 at 8:43 am }

Absolutely. By the time my parents celebrated their 25th anniversary, our family had lived in 11 different houses in 7 different towns. My total was even higher, counting university dorms & student/summer apartments. I did not LIKE moving but I learned how to deal with it. Part of the way I coped, I think, was ferociously hanging onto my “stuff” and to traditions as my surroundings kept changing. My dh, on the other hand, is of the “throw it out” school of thought. He needs very little in the way of things to keep him happy. Before we got married, he only ever lived in two houses, a few blocks away from each other in the same Toronto neighbourhood, surrounded by aunts, uncles & cousins who also lived nearby. I’ve always said there is probably a PhD thesis in there somewhere, lol. 😉

On the other hand, because we were always moving (& taking long road trips to visit family & friends), I grew up with a map in my hand, and have an excellent sense of direction. Dh is hopeless, even with a GPS. I know my way around this city — where he’s lived practically all his life — far better than he does. 😉

5 Jodi { 09.27.16 at 8:53 am }

I think change can be good. Hard, but good. I left a job after 14 years and moved to a really hard, challenging, sometimes makes me feel like an idiot, new job. Change can be transformative. It is also really, really hard.

In other news what did you think of the hopefuls? I thought it was just ok. I think I liked it MORE because I live in DC. I wonder if I lived somewhere else if I wouldn’t like it.

6 Raven { 09.27.16 at 9:57 am }

Definitely! I grew up in a small town that I felt like was suffocating me, and I never felt like I belonged. Everything was exactly the same every single day…nothing ever got better or changed. It was torture to be there, feeling trapped and stuck. The first chance I got I hightailed it out of there, and never looked back. It took 11 years to come back for a visit longer than a weekend.

Due to this, I love change. The very best things in my life have come from change, and I love the feeling of starting fresh. As I’ve aged (you know, married and all that), I do less dramatic changes like moving across the country, and instead take great joy in purging and re-arranging/re-decorating my house twice a year. I develop few attachments to material things so it’s easy to rehome it all. The ONE thing I maintain of continuity is food. I like to eat the same things, at the same places, over and over again. I have no idea why – but I am not one for changing my palate.

7 jjiraffe { 09.27.16 at 10:03 am }

I’m sorry to hear about the end of BlogHer. It had a good mission and published empowering content. You’re not just mourning the end of a job, but of an era and a community. Sending hugs.

8 Denise { 09.27.16 at 10:05 am }

I get it, boy do I get it… this, “I am incredibly loyal and long-lasting and unchanging. I don’t like moving or switching jobs or even ending finite projects,” This is TOTALLY me.

But, I’ve also learned that change is good for me. I hate ever7 second of it (and have every second of the last 34 days) but in the end, I’ll be smarter, stronger, more SANE (for goodness sake), and happier. Much happier.

9 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.27.16 at 10:34 am }

You know, maybe it does. Things where I am are fairly staid, and I have had the luxury of knowing if I go away for a year or two (which I’ve done several times in my adult life), I can always come back and rejoin practically where I left off.

And while there are some endings I don’t like (losses), there are some I do. Like finishing a project. I am so happy when that happens because I get to make a big checkmark on my list. I adore checkmarks.

10 Cristy { 09.27.16 at 12:32 pm }

I’ve been thinking about this given I’ve hit the 1 year mark of being on the East Coast. Sameness and change are a mixed bag for me. I don’t really identify with being a Midwest girl anymore, though there are solid values that still exist. I am homesick for Seattle, though. Or at least the Seattle of my youth. That said, I hate feeling left behind and that’s what was happening in the end. I was watching everyone move on while I was holding down the fort and missing out on adventures. So it’s mixed.

It’s so sad to see that BlogHer is no more. Truly an end of an era.

11 Chris { 09.27.16 at 12:37 pm }

That’s an interesting question. For me I think having moved SO SO SO much as a child, and to a lesser degree as a young adult, has really made me want to put down roots as an adult. As a child I went to 13 schools in 12 years. And those were MOVES, usually hundreds of miles sometimes thousands. But overall I’m not a fan of change I think I’ve had enough to last.

12 JustHeather { 09.27.16 at 2:53 pm }

I just had an all day meeting about communication and change management…and generally, no one really likes changes (esp at work), but they happen anyway. It’s how we present it to others that can make or break the idea/fact of change. Yay. Heh.
Yes and no…I am sure my hometown shaped me, but after living here for so long, I’m not totally a west coast girl, nor am I totally Finnish. Someone thought me a Brit today. LOL

13 em { 09.27.16 at 9:52 pm }

I went to G-town for a bit, and then came back about 20 years later. And then left again. And I have tried to explain this to people about DC. And that the town is significantly different depending on which party is in office. It is a very mobile town.

Yes, I think I carry New England in my veins, and there are things that still shock the Yankee in me when they happen. (People who push really hard for personal info when they first meet me, for instance.) And I have a tendency towards the Yankee desire for simplicity. But I’ve lived many, many places in the US at this point, and all of them, in one way or another, have shaped who I am.

14 Mali { 09.28.16 at 12:00 am }

From the time I was very little, I wanted to move and explore and see the world. I lived in the same house until I left at 17, the house my father grew up in too. So maybe I took that stability for granted. I’ve now lived in this city, with a three year break in Thailand, for thirty years. That’s not a source of pride or happiness, though I do like that it is my home. I would have rather lived elsewhere for at least some of those years.

The DC comparison with Wellington (which is also a government town) is very interesting. Perhaps because our public service is apolitical and doesn’t have political appointments (with the exceptions of the Cabinet positions in charge), we don’t see the same huge changes every time the government changes.

15 Mom PharmD { 09.28.16 at 2:44 am }

I’m not sure if where you grow up shapes how you react to change in the world so much as the way where you grow up reacts to you. I am from a tiny town and I never fit there so I was eager to leave and never return. Many people I know are from similar static small towns and loved the traditions and continuity of community – they were a part of the community rather than a weird fringe outsider. Having seen that strong communities exist, I really want to be a part of one but have yet to find the place that clicks and we recognize as clicking when we are there. We have moved too much and really hoped here would be a good fit but I’m not convinced. I feel just as new after a year here as I did on day 2 because everyone is from here and has no interest in expanding their social network.

16 Nonsequiturchica { 09.28.16 at 10:31 am }

Where I grew up definitely shaped how I deal with the world. I grew up in a rich town and although we were not rich, we were not hurting for money either. Seeing people in my schools be brand-whores or condescending to others that didn’t have as much money made me want to get away from the town for college and never be like that myself.

I like change. Moving, while it sucks, gives me hope for the future. It’s always fun to live in new places and explore. Although I think that we are done moving…at least for a while.

17 Ashley { 09.29.16 at 10:35 am }

Hmm…. I think I’m an even split here. I grew up in the house my parents built (they moved in when they brought me home from the hospital) as the fourth generation to live on the same farm. My parents never moved and still live in the house where I grew up, on the farm where my grandparents live. I love having that solid foundation. I went away to college, all the way to Maine at first and then returned to PA to a school about 2 hours from home. During college I studied abroad in Greece, my first experience in another country. After college I ventured into the Peace Corps and found myself in Nicaragua for nearly 2 years. When I came home I bought a house and, as of September 1st, I have been there 10 years. I like feeling the comfort of a home base with the ability to explore and return. I don’t really understand the whole hometown feel because I grew up on a farm and while not totally secluded being less than 100 acres, I still didn’t interact with many neighbors. I do feel tied to the farm and miss living there now that I live in the city, but the tiny town near the farm holds less nostalgia for me. I would say I’m ok with change but I struggle with loss and some of it really depends on what I can control and what I cannot control.

18 Amber { 09.29.16 at 5:35 pm }

I’ve never really thought about how DC changes every 4-8 years beyond the Presidency, but that totally makes sense. I too, have a hard time with change, but I do know that sometimes good can come from it.

19 Amber { 09.29.16 at 5:37 pm }

P.S. I love that you cry at the end of every book, and that ChickieNob knows you well enough to realize you had just “put the book to bed.”

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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