Ch-Ch-Changes. Turn and Face the Strange.

When I was younger, I tended to over-sentimentalize change.  A departure from a summer job or the end of camp might bring about a round of farewells that was perhaps out of proportion to the actual experience.

As a middle-aged guy looking back on early experiences, I now realize that this was my manner of dealing with the anxiety of change.  As humans, we may be biologically programed to fear change and its fraternal twin, the unknown.

Farewell

However, at this stage of life, I have come to embrace change.  I realize it’s good for the soul and psyche.  Not constant change.  But, a good, healthy change for the better every few years.  At least, that works for me.

Today, I am wrapping up affairs in my small law office in downtown Buffalo.  The movers will come and remove things.  One shipment will go down to my main office on Long Island.  That is the freight of my regret.

I am sad that the business that my partners and I tried so hard to build over 3 1/2 years did not thrive to the extent desired.  But, there are a lot of good memories in that shipment as well.  In sum, it’s a truckload of the past.

A second shipment will go to my new offices.  That is the cargo of my dreams, hopes and expectations.  Those goods are bound for  Tomorrowland.  There will be some items mixed in there to remind me of whence I’ve come.  But, these goods are mainly the tools with which I will build my future.  And it looks bright.

After some needed vacation, I will begin a new partnership.  Like my old firm, the new one is young, dynamic and poised for limitless growth.  The partners are all around my age and seem to share my values.  Some of them I have known for years.  Others I don’t know at all.  I look forward to getting to know these new faces.

I realize that most people would either be filled with or at least have some anxiety over a change of this sort.  But, I can honestly say that I have none.  I am happy.  I have learned to embrace the strange.

Hello

I guess I first realized that I was a “change-seeker” when I was an Army officer.  In the service, you change jobs every two years or so.  In this manner, leaders become well-rounded and maximize their experience content.  One of the attendant problems is that families are deeply affected by these perpetual changes — particularly when geographic change is involved.

After leaving the Army, I entered a period of stability.  I had some early hiccups job-wise.  But, I then settled into a job for a 10-year span.  I now realize that that gig may have been the longest tenure I will ever hold in one position over the course of my career.

Time was, Dad finished college (or other equivalent job training) and settled down to a corporation or other entity that could ensure stability and good benefits over the course of a work life of 40 years or so.  Beyond that, retirement was secure.

I think we all realize that that golden era of American life is officially over.  It was nice during the short period that it lasted.

Today, most workers know that chances are good that they will experience multiple job changes over the course of a career.  Unlike me, some people dread this.

Maybe my confidence of being able to handle the future comes from being a lawyer.  At a prior job, I had a boss who was always fretting over what could go wrong in the cases handled by the attorneys she supervised.  I was constantly reminding her that things do go wrong.  And guess what?  As lawyers we get paid to fix them.  In fact, thank goodness for this dynamic.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have a job.

But, I realize that others don’t possess this quality.  They crave stability.  They fear change.  There is also some truth to the adage that life’s hard knocks will tend to curb one’s desires.

As for me, I’m ready for the strange.

— The Major

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Congratulations & good luck!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Ward on June 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Same here, new neighbor.

    Reply

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