Oh, joy, it’s tax return deadline day in the USA. This year I’m one of those who pushed the envelope due to a logistics issue which entailed the need for a duplicate W-2. And this year marks one full year doing not what I was doing the previous umpteen years. I just completed the tax return paperwork last night, was forced to look microscopically at every black pixel on white paper, and I’m left wondering lots of things besides How do you wince in writing?
This is the first year that I filed a tax return as a whole other person. I miss the person I was for so many years. I respected her job, although the cons that made her leave it were beginning to take a toll. I liked where she lived, both the apartment and the region. I liked all her personal belongings and how she put them all just exactly where she wanted them. I liked how she lived, so independently, although I think she should have gotten out more, appreciated more of the vast offerings of the area.
The person who filed my tax return this year, I don’t know very well, and I’m not sure I like her all that much…yet, anyway. She seems so identity-less, so unsure of where she’s going. She could do so much, there’s more freedom, more space to move around in, but she seems not to know what to do with it. Given the opportunity to literally redefine herself, she flounders. She looks back with a tear in her eye, sighs. When she turns back around to now, she sees every reason to rejoice, but strangely that’s not what she does…yet, anyway.
There is so much to consider when making a major life change that even if we read or find out everything about every aspect of it that we can think of, I don’t think there’s any way we can truly know how that change will affect us until we actually make it and live it. And each person will do that and deal with it differently. It seems to be all about how well we know ourselves. If we know ourselves well and a change is what we need, we’ll probably choose change that causes our boats to list a little.
If we find that we didn’t know ourselves as well as we thought we did, it might feel like our boats have entered the perfect storm. And then what? Dispatch a mayday and get transported back to the port we started from? We might be able to go back to the same port but we won’t be the same people we were after having experienced what we’ve experienced. It won’t be the same, can’t be the same. And if we had never left port that day, we’d be beating ourselves up for not going on what we were sure would be the loveliest sail of our lives.
The truth is, the instant we entertained the idea of change, it started the wheels of change in motion and it was already too late to not go or to go back after having left. We have no choice but to keep spinning forward off the choices we’ve made and give the weird green sprouts that we’ve never seen before in our lives a chance to push further up out of the ground until we can kind of see what they’re going to be, and then to let them blossom to see for sure.
What’s the biggest life change you’ve ever experienced? And how did you take it?
What’s your theory about change, about embarking on it, about going back?
Photos from Getty Images