When Change Attacks

I am terrible at change.

This is not an exaggeration, it’s very literal for me. When someone tells me that a small change in plans is happening, I come close to panicking. I think of every possible way this new plan could blow up in my face, or I get angry that I’m not getting my way-even if the original plan was not my idea.

When it’s put like that, I sound like a child. I can clearly see that but it changes nothing. I stomp my feet, whine and pout, sometimes mope if I don’t get what I expected to happen. I’d like to say that maybe one day I’ll grow out of this behavior but those prospects are not looking good for me. I’m in my early 30s and the only thing that has changed is there aren’t usually loud, angry outbursts and attempts at redirecting things in the direction I want (otherwise known as manipulation), but that doesn’t even hold true one hundred percent of the time.

Here’s what’s going on: I have set plans for some aspects of my life. I have a decent idea of where my career path is taking me. I know who I will marry, and I know when. I know when we plan to buy a house together, I know when we plan to attempt a child. I mean, I have this all planned out to the month. I know when I need to have surgery so that pregnancy is most likely to be easy to accomplish. I know when we need to get married if we want to do that before conceiving a child (as funny as the idea of being knocked up for my wedding sounds, I don’t actually want those pictures). So what I’m saying is that these are the big pieces of my life that I have planned. Obviously, they won’t be exactly as planned, but it seems reasonable to me to know what’s going to happen soon, barring emergency or tragedy.

Over the weekend, for unforeseen reasons, my boyfriend found out that he needs to buy a house much sooner than anticipated, by January or so to be exact. This is much sooner than we planned, we don’t even live together yet (which makes the whole idea of me knowing who I will marry and when sound like an obsessive fantasy but allow me to explain: we have been together for 2 years and are waiting until almost 3 years to move in together, for personal reasons). It is at least 3 years sooner than we planned. I had it in my head that we would be picking out a house together, but now he will be picking it out and I have to hope for the best. I will say that he and I have very similar ideas of what we want in a house, at least the most important parts. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me, it is. I panicked and obsessed about this for hours. I eventually calmed down and now I’m a little disappointed but I’m okay.

Back to the knowing my general career path. I am a counselor. I am recently licensed, and just started counseling last month. I got thrown into the position to fill in for a woman that got really sick. I was told that in about one more month, I would be changing positions, slightly. I would still have a caseload, but a small one, and I would be the admissions counselor. Admissions would be my primary position. Fine, that’s cool. This morning, everything was right on track. New building opening up in a few weeks, and a slow, graceful transition into my new position that still had some old qualities.

Guess what happened?

I wasn’t fired BUT I did find out that due to, again, unforeseen circumstances, I will be thrown into a entirely new position. On top of that, I cannot say anything at work until my boss approaches me and talks to me about it. I have to go to work and act like everything is normal. I have to continue counseling my clients like I will be counseling them next week; because when I say “thrown in,” I mean that I start this new position Friday, 3 days from now, possibly Monday, 6 days from now if you count the weekends, which I don’t work.

Guess what I did?

I panicked. I got angry, I called my boyfriend and told him about it, sounding like a run together, never-ending run on sentence. I have to act normal.

Then I start to try to find the positives in this (if you notice, I didn’t do this with the situation over the weekend; that’s because I see no positive in that one).

I’m going into the position I wanted to be in earlier than I planned, which is good. I’m going to be more thoroughly trained for my position before I have to start it, also good.

And the best part is that I’m now likely to have all holidays off.

So I shouldn’t be complaining, but I will. It’s just who I am. I realize I could have a lot worse problems. I’m grateful I don’t. This has been therapeutic for me, even if no one else cares.