The more things change, the more they stay the same
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it’s the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw: my inability to change. I don’t think I’m alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it’s kind of everyone’s flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still… It feels safer somehow.
And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar.
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Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the
box, did something unexpected… Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn’t seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You’re not a drug addict. You’re not killing anyone — except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don’t think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we’re like this different person. I think it’s smaller than that.
The kind of thing most people wouldn’t even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank god, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever. That you’ll never have to change again. It probably won’t work out that way, though, since things will keep changing. That’s one thing I know a lot about: whether you like it or not, stuff keeps happening all the time. And not always for the better. Usually not, it seems. But maybe it gets easier.
Hopefully that first change doesn’t hurt too much, it
doesn’t kill you, you don’t lose any limbs or an eye —
or a friend. Then you figure you can do it again. It’s like when you have to move something really heavy, like a couch, or a car that ran out of gas. You can hardly budge it at first, but once it finally starts to move, it gets a lot easier to push the rest of the way. As long as you don’t stop pushing. So I guess you can keep changing… a little at a time, once you get started. You sort of have to, because if you don’t — if you stop and freeze up again — then you still have that same flaw you started with after all. So you just have to take a chance. Push yourself. Take that first step outside the box and hope it’s not too horrible.
And enough small changes can eventually add up, until finally you really are different. Even enough for other people to notice, not just you. That probably has something to do with growing up.