A change will do me good

As much as I like to think that I’m a go-with-the-flow type of person, the reality is that I prefer things to remain relatively the same. I like knowing what to expect. I like having a plan. If I’m completely honest, I like being in control. I do my best to hang and stand strong when unforeseen things happen, because that’s life. But I would prefer a slow and steady path.

Several months ago, I quit my job to start a full-time writing career. My butt may be permanently clenched for the rest of my life. Last month, I decided to move out of my apartment. This gives me unnecessary anxiety. This week, I sold my old car and bought a new one. I wept in the CarMax parking lot before signing the dotted line.

I know what you’re thinking and the answer is, yes. Like Jude Law, I’m a major weeper. I’m also that person who not only wears her emotions on her sleeve, but I’ll package them up and hand them out like Christmas presents so we can all break down together. You cry — I cry. As I sat in my car, choking out a good-bye, I allowed myself to reminisce and quickly realized why I was such a basket case.

Eleven years ago this summer, I arrived in Houston with nothing but my Camry. Fresh off a divorce, friends graciously let me stay on their couches and in their guest bedrooms while I frantically tried to find a job and reinvent myself as “just Lincee.” That car was literally my home.

It took me to job interviews. I slept in the back seat at the hospital where my grandmother passed away. It is the one my niece knows as “Slink’s car.” It kept me safe on spontaneous road trips. If you look hard, you can see vague stains on the roof from when a Dr Pepper exploded on a hot day. I’ve had major concerts in that glorious sedan, singing in front of an imaginary Gospel choir. I’ve also cried major tears on its upholstery.

As I handed over the key to the CarMax dude, he laughed at all the crap surrounding me which I had collected from the corners of my car. Stop looking at me John! Doesn’t everyone have a roll of hot pink tulle and a decent-sized canvas of James Dean from Giant in their trunks? Quit eyeing my cassette tape of The Judds Greatest Hits. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT. Please refrain from turing your nose up at all of the old gum balls I am currently throwing away. I HAVE A HABIT, OKAY? It’s been 11 years and I literally drove this car into the ground like Dave Ramsey told me to. LET ME MOURN IN PEACE!

Change is scary for me because so many years ago, I was thrown a major curve ball that forced me to adjust my life drastically. Once I figured it all out, I didn’t want to do that again for a very long time. I wept this week because the Camry represented a constant in my life when I felt like the entire world was falling apart.

Yet here I am again: New job. New car. New place to live.

Would I like all the change to happen at one time? Absolutely not. Do I think it is a good thing? Absolutely I do. My circumstances are entirely different this go around. I’m focusing on the exciting parts of this transition. I’m looking forward to new adventures. I’m working on adjusting my attitude.

I’m freaking out, too, but in a completely healthy way. That’s a thing, right?

It’s easy for me to swing back to the negative and think about the last time I was going through this exact same transition. When I feel the anxiety creeping up, I stop and breathe. I focus on trusting the Lord more than I ever have before. I looking to Him for guidance and direction. I identify with the father in Mark 9:24 when I say, “I believe, Lord. Help me overcome my unbelief.”

My Altima is going to take me places. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I’m excited for the ride because a change will do me good.

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