Monday, November 8, 2010

Things Change, Jo

I just went to see the opera Little Women by Mark Adamo. It's one of my favorite stories, and I loved seeing it done in a new way.

I've always loved and identified with Jo March, although I thought it was because she was a tomboy who liked to write. I've never thought of myself when I saw the way Jo avoids change - until I watched this version. 

I realized as I watched the opera that I am more like Jo in this way than in any other. I hated leaving high school, having roommates and siblings move out or get married, graduating from college, moving to Indiana - because all of these things meant something would never be the same. Ever. With each change, I lamented how perfect things had been before and wondered why things had to change, why people had to leave, why I had to move on. Then eventually, I'd adjust to the change and believe things were perfect again until the next adjustment. Ultimately, I think the anticipation of change is worse than change itself.

I've been thinking about this even more than usual lately. I'm graduating in December, getting married a week later, and moving to another new state a week or so after that. I'd be lying if I said there hadn't been breakdowns. I've panicked about the move. I'm sad to be leaving Indiana and the friends I've made here, even though I can't wait for my relationship to stop being a long distance one. I'm overwhelmed when I think about going through the process of changing my name, even though I'm excited to do it. I think about how this will change the way I celebrate holidays and wonder what will end up changing about the way I do things on a day to day basis. In so many ways, it's both a great adventure and a terrifying jolt out of the comfortable, steady life I'm constantly trying to establish for myself.

I think if life let me have my way, I would stay in one place with my friends and family gathered around me in my little life, the way Jo wanted to. "We are perfect as we are!" I rail, just as Jo did throughout this opera. But it just wouldn't be true. Things change, and really I wouldn't want them to stay the same forever. I grow, I learn, and my life gets more interesting through change. And even though I always fear change will make it worse, just as often, it makes my life better. And when it doesn't immediately, I adapt, and eventually it becomes better because I make it so.  I can cope with change. I'm grateful for change.

Just don't expect me to admit it too often.


Emily said...

I really needed this today. Thanks.

Rachel M. Slough said...

I did as well. Thank you for the thoughtful, and beautifully written, reminder.

Melissa said...

What a beautiful post! When I got married, I too moved to a new state instantly to start my life with my husband. It was hard. I didn't have any friends, I didn't have a job, I didn't have anything except for this one bum who took me away from my life. It was an adjustment, and it took about a year; between finding jobs, making friends, figuring out how to do holidays when one family was in Utah and the other was in California, figuring out how to do finances together, and just fighting over bed space (ps...I won, I now get about 3/4th of the bed haha) but we adjusted and for a year I was waiting for life to finally be good, to finally be regular. Looking back I can see how WONDERFUL that time of life was and how close I grew with Adam. I am horrible at change but if we stayed the same forever, you and I would be playing in your parent's bountiful house backyard. I would be Aladdin and you would be Jasmine and while that was a wonderful time of life--think of what we would have missed if we'd never taken the turbans off :)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, awesome post.

~Lisa said...

Loved the post Megan. You're such a talented writer. I've always related myself to Jo for the same reason. Good luck with everything! :)

Ben Neal said...

Beautiful post, Megan. Change whether it be geographic, professional, personal, and so on is a scary, necessary, and ultimately therapeutic event in all of our lives and its one I have experienced a lot of as of late myself (and am happier for it).

You're such a talented writer and we'll miss you when you leave Hoosier-land :). Good luck on your journeys!