“I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you. And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you. Strange what ‘desire’ will make foolish people do.” – Chris Isaak
When friends used to break the news to me that they were no longer part of a couple, I used to offer my condolences and think of how to try to make them feel better. Then, over the years, I stopped assuming they would automatically need condolences, so I just paused for a moment to pay attention to their body language after their announcement and I would ask them “Is this a good thing?”
It seems we think about ‘change’ all the time, but not as much about ‘transition’.
I’m fortunate to be able to live in Chicago. There are definitely places around the world in which I would love to live if I didn’t have to make a great living. And there are just as many where I could make a great living, but would not care to call home. This city feels like a nice headquarters to me and I’ve stayed put for a while. Friends do move into and away from Chicago almost as much as I see them getting into and out of relationships. What could they all be looking for? What do they feel they want or need to change? And why? Most of the time I think they’re sincerely explaining the truth to me as they see it. And most of the time I even believe them… most of the time.
Change and transition are not quite the same thing. I learned that change didn’t mean much without following through with transition. We could put ourselves in a different environment and even travel far from home thinking we’re changing things – maybe even fool ourselves into thinking we’re learning new experiences. But mostly we just add to old experiences in new places until we figure out how to make a transition. What to transform. When to evolve.
My favorite part if I’m traveling somewhere new sometimes is the change in perspective I get of home when I return. I really didn’t change anything. Everything is still in its place where I left it. And odds are good that I didn’t break anything valuable on the trip – or at least, hopefully, no one noticed or cared.
Some things do deserve to be broken though. Seriously… who the hell first came up with a porcelain, sea-horse, clock lamp?!! We’ve all seem them! And who was the first supportive, ‘genius’ friend who advised their BFF to hang in there; be patient; he’ll change after you’re married; he’ll learn to grow with you! mmhmmm… like mold.
The character Desirée in Stephen Sondheim’s play “A little night music” was one such co-dependent BFF. Sondheim later explained his famous theater reference of that horrid ‘Send in the Clowns’ song that meant ‘if the show isn’t going well, let’s send in the clowns’; in other words, ‘let’s do the jokes.
Well, since I don’t think I’m much of a misery-loves-company sort of guy, I’d suggest keeping those creepy, damn clowns as far away from me as possible, and just burn this puppy down to the ground and start all over once in a while. Sometimes that’s the best way to make a transition.
Alright, Mrs. O’Leary… send in Daisy!
It’s a Chicago thing.