As I grow older, I am realizing more and more how I hate, nay, despise change. I am still trying to figure out to this day why I so dearly want to keep canoodling with routine and familiarity. It’s true, most people struggle with this as well, but some people are lucky enough to welcome change. When I look back on my childhood, all I can see is me, my sister and my mom, living life in our 2 bedroom condo in Aliso. Since I was 2 to 14, every weekday consisted of my mom driving my sister and I to my aunt and uncle’s house in Lake Forest. She would then drive to work, pick us up, then take us home. When we were in school, she would take us there, my aunt would pick us up, take us to her house, then my mom would pick us up. Every day. We never moved once when I was a kid. I became used to stability, safety and familiarity (which I am definitely not complaining about- my mom was a rockstar). My first big change was going to live on campus at Biola University. This, strangely enough did not rock my boat as much as you would think it would. By the time I was ready to go to college, I was completely ready to taste freedom and independence. I think it also helped that I met an awesome girl at Golden Spoon who was going to be my roommate. Now that I think about it, my first memory of hating change came when my sister decided she was too cool to share a room with me and demanded to have a room of her own. My mom, crazy woman, actually agreed with her! So there I was, my little self trying to block the door, looking like a big X. They both were holding the twin mattress and easily shoved me out of the way. Once they pushed their way through, and I was scattered to the side, they placed my mattress right next to my mom’s bed. And I hated it.
The next REAL change came when my mom decided to sell our condo. The scary thing is that I didn’t really process it. It all happened in a blur. I remember being confused as to why this whole thing was happening. No one really sat down with me to explain it, and I guess I didn’t ask. After that, I went from living on campus, (while my mom and sister lived in Temecula), to living with my aunt on the weekends so I could go to work, to moving into a ghetto apartment in Laguna, to living in a nice apartment in Aliso, you get the picture. Although these moves were big changes, I believe that they happened at a time in my life when I was old enough to understand them. I really wasn’t hating life at this time because of all the change. I was just going with the flow.
The hardest changes that I have experienced were in my relationship with Alexander. Getting used to being a girlfriend then being used to a wife was unbelievably hard for me. It took a lot of time of learning and growth to finally accept these roles. Learning how to be a wife in particular was ridiculously difficult. It was so different than anything I have ever known, and that scared the hell out of me. Think about it. You grow up your whole life living with two other women and a whole lotta aunts (barely any men). The only stable man in my life was my uncle, but it was still different not actually living with a man. So I go from this, to living with other girl friends to being some MAN’s wife. It’s part of the reason why my first year of marriage was a lot like Supreme Scream. Actually, not part of the reason, all of it. All of it was just dealing with the change. I HATED IT. I’m not going to lie, it took a long ass time for me to get used to being a wife.
Now the next big change that I find myself (hating) to deal with is Alexander’s new career choice in becoming a flight attendant. This was especially hard when he had to be gone for a month in training. This is how it was in my head those 4 weeks… ‘hate it, hate it, hate it, hmm the house is soo nice and clean, hmm I’m gonna go hang out with my girls tonight, hmmm I’m gonna go home, get some dinner and read when I get home…wait, what…Xander’s coming back?…… My emotions were like (^%%$#%%*&(*&*^%%^$&) If you didn’t catch that, it was basically batshit crazy. Why? Because things were becoming routine and familiar. And then! Xander decides to come back and I honestly didn’t know what to make of it. I mean, part of me was happy to see him, but a part of me was terrified. How was I supposed to adapt to this kind of life? It was dawning on me that I now had to deal with him being gone all the time. So I kind of lost it. We got into a huge fight, and then….yes, yes I think we did get back together. Uh huh. Yes, we did. And then, I got used to the next routine—seeing him for three days, then he go to work for three days. Then he hurt his knee, and had to be on disability. He was home for 2 ½ months, and I loved it. I realized how much I missed the small things, like him being home and asking me how my day was, us watching our shows together, CUDDLING together. It was like I was married again. And then of course, his damn knee had to heal so now he has to go back to work. We are planning on moving in July and buying a house, and in order for us to be able to accomplish this, Xander would have to work a lot to make quite a bit of money. The only problem is that if he wants to make a lot of money, he will be home like never. He told me that basically he would only see me once for the rest of March. So I had another freak out moment for this next huge change in my life. So, after a lot of crying and talking, we came to an agreement. Xander did some research and figured out how to stay home every night this next week but still work 5 days. I told him I could live with this. Ease me into it. Don’t just all of a sudden leave me for a month…again (and expect me to not become a wreck!)
Now, I feel a little guilty about this, because I know that there are a ton of wives out there who have to deal with this as well. Army wives, athlete’s wives…etc. They might not even see them for a year! I cannot even begin to fathom how they can do this. If I am honest with myself when looking at my reaction to change, I see that the reason I have a hard time with this is because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of isolation. My fear is basically telling God that I don’t trust Him. He doesn’t know what He is doing. God, just let me handle this because I know what’s best. You just sit back and relax. I got this. Really Natalie??
I think change can be a very good thing. If you aren’t growing as a person on a daily basis, you’re just stagnant. Just there. How can God work through you if you aren’t willing to change or be open to the changes that come to your life? I’ve been reflecting on all this and have come to a conclusion. My infatuation with routine and familiarity needs to stop. Is God calling Alexander to a life where he can be a witness and light to others while flying? I don’t know, maybe. If so, I don’t want to be that nagging wife who hinders him from doing what he needs to do. But I do know that for me, I need to let go. Life is scary. Yes. But in order for there to be growth, there has to be change. It’s a struggle, but it needs to be done and I need to be open to it. Like Pastor Dave Rolph says, whenever you go through a hard time in your life, ask God, “what do you want me to learn through this?” Learn something every moment in life.
If you have read this far to the very end, I salute you.