Saturday, March 03, 2007
Superstition – Sunday Scribblings
I'm not sure that I would call myself a superstitious girl, though I am cautious. I wouldn't step on a crack (for fear I'd break my mother's back) and if I spill salt, I toss some over my shoulder. My life hasn't really been governed by these practices. On the other hand, since I am a cautious person, I have had a life-long tendency to develop patterns and to stick with them. I even find comfort in these patterns. So I used the same ink pen to take every final exam I ever took at UCLA. I have a calming mantra that I repeat to myself in nervous moments. And the pattern goes further than that: for nearly every year of my life since I was a little girl, I have bought a new pair of Keds sneakers in the spring. There are other things as well, but I think that you get the idea.
I wouldn't say that I resist change, because I don't think that's the case. But I have always sought continuity in the midst of change and change that I didn't create or didn't want makes me very anxious. Sometimes it makes me feel utterly powerless. So the upheaval in my life last summer was unwelcome and hard for me. Because it was unexpected I hadn't had the opportunity to gird myself for what was coming. And in the aftermath, I decided that as I approach the age of 40, I need to do a better job of rolling with the punches, or at least being prepared to roll with the punches when they come my way.
So I have broken with some of my traditions. It makes me a little nervous to do so. But it also feels freeing in an unexpected way. I still got some new sneakers this spring, but they aren't Keds. I got some K-Swiss this year. It may not look all that different but it feels new to me. And when I look at my feet while I'm walking around in Florida next week I will hopefully be reminded that changes, even the unexpected ones, can be good.