“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Chorinthians 5:17
Yes, “new” is generally one of those words that is either anticipated with great relish, with hoots and hollers of jubilation and excitement, or it can be considered as a threat, bringing with it almost certain doom sometime in the near future. It might seem like a dramatic take on it, but if you really think about it, has a kid ever not been excited over a new toy or puppy? They just about always have a positive take on something that thrilling. But when was the last time you were jumping for joy over having to change jobs and apply for a new one? That seems like a smidge of not so fun with a large dash of daunting to me, creating a delicious reaction of “Oh, great!” I think the largest reason why we fear the new so much is because it’s usually unexpected when it strikes, and we never entirely know what’s going to come of it and how painful or awkward it will be along the way. Take it from me, bubbles of sameness are very comfy to live in, and if you never venture out into the world from your little net of safety, then you’ll never really know what you’re missing. But you will also never experience excitement or surprise or adventure, and you will most certainly never encounter new people and places.
My family and I used to move around a lot, so I sort of had a negative association with change and moves of any kind. When we moved back to Southern California five years ago, I will be first to admit that my attitude was less than pleasant for the first few months here, and especially the months leading up to the move from Colorado Springs; stubbornly sullen is probably the best description. So I stayed in that little bubble of uniformity for as long as I could, avoiding as many new people as possible as I clung to the all that was familiar. But then I accidentally met some new people—Olivia, Gabriela, Veronica, I’m talkin’ to you, chicas!—and I realized that new wasn’t all bad. Those quickly forged friendships gave me a little confidence that my life wouldn’t be entirely destroyed if I took a step forward and got on with it, and that led to some new fantastic relationships with friends whom I adore and will always carry with me.
Change is also a large part of maturity and growth. I used to be afraid that my writing style would change as I grew older, and then somehow my creative flow would die because I wouldn’t know how to apply this new change (I’m pretty sure we’ve clarified that I’m dramatic). A month or two before “Rising Shadows” was released, I went back through the manuscript to update it for my editor and had a week to get it back to her, and I was feeling pretty good about that deadline. Then I sat there for an hour or so just staring at the words on the original doc, shaking my head and wondering how on earth that had been picked out of all the manuscripts Kirkdale could have chosen. So I went to work rewriting, correcting, adding, changing, and removing everything that didn’t fit my style anymore, which was just about everything. There wasn’t a single page that was lacking minor, if not major, changes; the entire manuscript was riddled with red! I added twenty or so pages and a few new scenes (such as the Shadow breaking into the castle). The week-long deadline that had seemed like a cakewalk before was looming a little closer than I would have liked when I finally finished … Just a few brief hours before it had to be in. But I really believe those changes and new additions really made it better.
So, see? Change isn’t all bad. I am finally learning to be okay with things that are new, and even go out and experience things and activities I have never tried before; I have been pleasantly surprised in the process of being adventurous. There are plenty of things that intimidate me—a room full of strangers, something I have never tried before, a place I’ve never been, the first day of school—but how would I have ever had such great memories with new people and places if I had never sucked it up and popped the bubble? Challenge of the week: Try something new, change it up. You just might be surprised.
P.S. I had every intention of writing a post for Tuesday, which you will definitely be seeing next Tuesday, but I got a little sidetracked when my mom, my sisters Katie and Elizabeth, and myself discovered my newest favorite dessert shop, The Cupcake, in Santee (incredible!!!!!!!) and also a scrapbook shop next door. So after the sugar buzz and scrapbook daze had worn off just a little, we spent the remainder of the afternoon in the secondhand bookstore a few shops down. Yeah, we didn’t emerge for several hours, though when we did, we were the proud owners of ten or twenty old favorites and new (there’s that word again) titles. So, very soon I want to write a post about some of the fantastic novels we have discovered recently and others that we bought from that bookstore. Stay tuned!
“There is a budding morrow in midnight.” –John Keats