Embracing Change: Don't Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Sunday, August 5, 2012

{I wrote this post nearly two months ago...and it's even more true right this very moment in my life. God has a funny sense of humor. :) }

I am such a creature of habit.

I love order, routine. A place for everything and everything in that place.

I organized the Chick-fil-A nugget boxes and bagged sandwiches so they faced the same direction when I worked full time at my dad's Chick-fil-A store years ago.

I put things back in the pantry or on the shelf exactly where they were.

I can't just throw dishes or utensils in a drawer. Noooooo. They have to be neatly stacked, placed, and put.

I have a few favorite pews at church that I sit in according to my mood when I go to daily Mass.

I <3 both iced + blended coffee and agonize at coffeeshops over whether I should order a tried-and-true favorite or venture out and try something new. (I usually get the former...heh).

Every time I sit down to read blogs, Jenna's is always the first one I check. Always. Been part of my routine ever since I started reading her blog nearly three years ago (her's was the first "real" food blog I discovered!). Then I methodically work through my list of other blogs that I check in the same order each time. Once in a blue moon I mix it up and do something crazy like read it out of order. (I know - wild child, right?)

I write my novel/stories/bits of inspiration with thick black ink pens. I like a certain type of brand. It's painful to write with any other type! I feel like a mother taking a stranger's baby home and putting it in her child's playpen....

I do the kitchen in order each day: sweep first, empty trash second, wash hands and put dishes away third.

Adrian Monk, I am not. I just happen to have a love for routine.

It's comforting. It's structured.

It's safe.

Of course, like with everything, there are downsides. My nature of habit, my love for routine can make it difficult to step out of my comfort zone. To tackle the unknown. To take on things I don't like. To face conflict and abrupt change head-on.

(Boy, am I in for a rude awakening with motherhood...)

You know the saying they can "talk the talk but not walk the walk"? Hmmhhh. I think it applies both ways. I dream out loud about things like moving to California for a summer, backpacking across Europe, taking up art, sewing a gorgeous formal dress, etcetera, etcetera. You know, carpe diem. Size the day.

But when push comes to shove? Oooh....no thank you. I'll stay here in my beloved, so-worn-becasue-I-won't-break-down-and-get-a-new-pair-yoga pants, and I'll read all my fav blogs in order, do my daily schoolwork in the same sequence, and retrace my steps each day. It's comfy. It's easy. It's simple. It's safe.

But. Life. Is. Not. Safe. Not like that anyways.

A job? You could be fired or hired in a minute. And if you own your own business, every moment's a roller coaster with unknown dips and twists.

Marriage? You share a house, time, and a life with another person. Someone who has separate wants, needs, moods, preferences, habits, and hobbies - they're not a mirror image of you!

Kids? Fagettaboutit. I'm not a parent or even married yet, but being the oldest of six homeschooled kiddos and having a life-long exposure to homeschool families more than enough taught me that children = the definition of unpredictable. And if you try to control things, it never works out well. Nor should you want to!

Katie's mom put it beautifully: "Life is messy. So embrace the mess."

My own mother is a huge inspiration. With all the curve balls, dodgeballs in the face, flying straw balls at restaurant tables launched by mischievous chitlins, and the good, bad, and really ugly that Life has both thrown at her and dropped in her lap....she's always gone with the flow.

Where I'm uptight and freaking about because things aren't going according to plan or I'm waaaaaay out of my comfort zone....she's calm and collected, reminded me to cool down, that "it's okay to make mistakes; Life is full of them."

She's always said you can never be perfect because only God is perfect, so don't try to be. She's always said...try it. If you don't like it, that's okay. Then you'll know.

I grew up with that ringing in my ears throughout my childhood. In some ways, I'm just like my mom. In others, I'm polar opposite. My mom always encouraged me (and my siblings) to step out of the comfort zones I created for myself. Change, she's always told me, happens. Even if I don't like it. The proverbial "when one season ends, another begins..."

I think it's time I embraced that more.

Change, I mean.

Routine, structure, order, habits. All good things. All necessary things for society to function on a basic level and certainly for personal sanity.

But trying new things, stepping out of the circles we draw for ourselves and fill with familiar and comfortable and 'safe' things...allowing ourselves to make mistakes






So why do we treat it like it is?

Habits. They make us who we are. Teach us. Form us. Define us.

But sometimes it's time to try new things.

Make it a NEW habit to explore things beyond what you know. Beyond your comfort zone.

It just takes one step.

And the courage to know that no matter what happens, you're not making a mistake.

You're just trying it. 


  1. "And the courage to know that no matter what happens, you're not making a mistake.

    You're just trying it."
    -These lines are so soothing, it's like the final straw that tells you, 'Go try'.

    1. Ruth ~ Exactly! My mom (and moms in general) is very wise. I should listen to her more often. ;)

  2. One should take change as a sign of humility and as a path to maturity. As one living in NYC, I take change as a fun adventure.

    1. JMC, oh yes, I agree. I have a long ways to go on my path to maturity! And how fun - I can see how NY helps you have that sort of perspective.

  3. Ahhh I loved this post....fear of change and of taking risks is something I've struggled with all my life. Even though I always theoretically knew "God has it all under control and you should trust Him completely", it's only been in the past week or so that the truth of that really struck my heart :)

  4. Thanks, Ivy! So glad you could relate...I've struggled greatly with this all my life too. I fought it in a new way this summer, and finally felt like I conquered my fear. I'm still scared of what the future brings, but I'm stepping out of my comfort zone to meet it with my head held high now! :)