Muddy Waters of Change

This morning I decided to forego the extra stop at Tim Horton’s for good coffee and got a McDonald’s coffee with my Sausage McMuffin instead.  I figured it’s saving me money and time.  Why not go ahead and give it a try?

I’ll tell you why:  it’s not as good.

But isn’t that the problem with trying new things?  There’s a good chance (at least 50/50) that you’re not going to like the new way of doing things.  We get so focused on the chance that it might be good, sometimes we forget the chance that it might be bad.

I often have that problem when I buy new skin care products.  Or anything that touches my skin, actually.  I have sensitive skin and the slightest step out of the boundaries that have been artificially set up by that sensitivity will cause me to itch and cringe all day long.

But some change can be good.  I was talking to Mom last night.  She again went off on one of her “I just thought you’d be happy practicing law,” talks.  Between her and the icy road beneath my wheels as I talked to her, I was on edge.  Finally I just had enough and asked her why she’s so worried about it.  Why was she so concerned about me not being a “lawyer” anymore?  And she didn’t really have a good answer.

That’s one change that I know has been good for me.  I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I’m a helluva lot closer than I was a year ago or even six months ago.  I have a plan–a plan that I like, mind you–and I’m ready to follow through with it.  And no, Mom, going to law school doesn’t seem like wasted time.  It just seems like a step I made when I thought things were going to be different.

You see, I never thought I was going to meet “the One” (God, how I hate that term) during my first year of law school.  I never thought I’d be married at the age of 26.  I never thought I’d be wanting a family before I was 30.  But once I realized that along with the fact that I want to have quality of life, not just quantity, it seemed the traditional legal path just wasn’t for me.  Do I regret going to law school?  No.  And even if I did, what would be the point?

Sometimes trying something new is a mess.  I’m drinking some brown water that is being passed off as coffee as a result of that.  But sometimes, if we’re lucky, it’s the start of a whole new adventure.  Like I said, the chances are 50/50 no matter what you do.  But the 50% chance of good somehow outweighs it’s numerically equal counterpart when you consider the after-effects of such change. For example, I’m going to have a career I like one day.  And that means something more to me than having a traditional career path…whatever that means anymore these days.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m not going to let this McDonald’s coffee fool me once again.

What changes have been good for you? What changes have been bad for you?

31 comments for “Muddy Waters of Change

  1. February 25, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Good for you! Making changes is much harder than people imagine. It's easy to criticize from the outside.

    And never drink McDonald's coffee…

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

      Yeah, I learned the McDonald's coffee lesson.

  2. Kim
    February 25, 2010 at 10:15 am

    oh no no no, Mickey Dee's coffee is putrid! This past year has been new everything for me. It's wierd to think where I wanted to be by this time and where I really am. But I guess it's good for us, right? Hope school is going well!

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

      So much for best laid plans, huh?

  3. ari_b
    February 25, 2010 at 10:28 am

    McDonald's scares me in general – you are a brave soul for trusting them with your cup of life elixer.

    Families tend to be your largest critic when you're trying to change . . . trust me I know. (I'm sorry if that sentence was incredibly awkward, my Folgers hasn't kicked in yet).

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

      Cup of life elixer. Ha! That made me giggle.

      Families can be our greatest source of support and our greatest critics all at once.

  4. ohitislove
    February 25, 2010 at 11:15 am

    good for you. everything happens for a reason….that's what i think (when a decision i've made has turned out either spectacularly or terribly). and you're allowed to change your mind about things….even your career! :-) but it is your family who always feels that they have a “say” isn't it? at least with mine it is!

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

      Yeah, they do think they have a say. Little do they know… :)

  5. February 25, 2010 at 11:25 am

    It's interesting to watch people deal with change. Some people fear it so much that they stick to the same routine, day-in-day-out, and others attack it head on and embrace it. I'm somewhere in the middle. There are things I love to change and others need to remain constant. My biggest change was moving from Chicago and leaving everyone I know behind for this job in LA. I've only been out here for four months, but I still don't know if this was a good or bad change yet.

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

      I think it'll be a good change in the end. It'll just take some time.

  6. Courtney
    February 25, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I'm definitely of the mindset if you're not happy, cut your losses and move on. I imagine it has to be hard as a parent to watch your kid commit so much time and money to one goal / career, and then essentially walk away. I'm sure it's coming from a place of concern, and maybe even, “Well, if I thought my kid would be happy doing this, and she isn't, how well do I know my kid?”

    Sorry about the coffee!

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:19 am

      I think that's what the problem is–she watched me work so hard for something I'm not directly using in a traditional way. And she's a traditional thinker.

  7. lily116
    February 25, 2010 at 11:40 am

    AMEN sister.
    I'm convinced that you and I are twins, separated at birth, destined to follow parallel paths through life.

    …and I know that TOTALLY sounded like I was hitting on you, but I wasn't.

    …or was I?

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

      We really do have a ton of parallels, don't we?

  8. February 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Good: Doing more volunteer work. Bad: Moving to North Carolina.

  9. February 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Sometimes changing something can have both good and bad consequences. For me, moving away from home has been good because I'm a lot more independent, but it has also been bad because I feel like Ohio has made me into a more bitter person.

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

      I think Ohio makes people bitter in general.

  10. February 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Moving out of NYC was the best change I've made in years. Except now I can't eat pizza at 2 AM. Which is kind of depressing.

    Don't they sell that organic coffee of McDs? Newman's Own? Any time I drink any type of coffee, good or bad, I shake like I'm on a 3 day heroin bender.

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

      If it's organic, it's still a pile of you know what. It's some sort of new blend allegedly.

  11. msTC
    February 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I never thought I'd want to practice law. Yet, here I am loving my job. And, I always have hated children. But as you know — I love my kid (and I will love the shit out of yours if and when you pop one out. I'll make that exception for you. LOL)

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

      Who would have thought you and I would be in the positions we're in. So opposite of what I thought.

  12. February 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    McDonald's coffee= NAST.

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

      Yeah. I learned that one the hard way.

  13. February 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    The wonderful part about taking the leap and making a big change is that moment when you realize it was worth it. Even if that moment comes while “drinking some brown water that is being passed off as coffee.” Still memorable. Still huge.

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

      Yeah, that coffee will be memorable–it will remind me not to get coffee there again except in extreme circumstances

  14. Decoybetty
    February 26, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I so, so, SO feel you on new skin products. Dear lord, once I started using Olay face wash and I started getting Acne…it was horrifying.

    Moving to Australia was the best thing I ever did. It was obviously a huge change – and it hasn't been easy. But dear lord, has it been worth it.

    Once, I tried something new at my favourite thai restuarant and it was like the best thing ever…the next time I tried something else and it was gross and horrible. like you say, 50/50

    • February 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

      Skin products are so tricky.

  15. February 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I had a latte at McDonald's once and didn't think it was that bad. Of course, I drink the coffee that they make at work, so I've pretty much gotten used to drinking bad coffee regularly.

  16. March 1, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I had a latte at McDonald's once and didn't think it was that bad. Of course, I drink the coffee that they make at work, so I've pretty much gotten used to drinking bad coffee regularly.

  17. March 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    i have a degree that's totally worthless to me. its frustrating to be completely honest. i definitely wish that i would have found this path a few years ago, but then i realize, i wasn't ready for this path then. i wasn't ready for everything life sprung at me recently then. it's certainly been a ride, but i'm willing to go with it and i'm excited to see where it takes me.

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