Addicted to Change

Some people are deathly afraid of change. They won’t get rid of things. They live in the same house year after year doing the same things. They stay in a job they hate because they’re afraid that any job they went to would be worse. Sometimes they even stay in an abusive marriage for fear of the unknown.

 I’m about as different from those people as one can be. I find that no matter what I do, I want variety. I love how life is never the same from day to day. I’m the sort of person who changes her hairstyle drastically every year or two and never keeps it the same way two haircuts in a row.

I loved my post-graduation job because I knew that no project was permanent. If I hated one, I had the assurance that in a few days or weeks or months, I would start on something entirely different. My first project was doing a very heavy edit (rewrite) of some medical software user manuals. My second was doing tech writing for Zions Bank’s call center. In between, I proofread some manuals about braking systems for the Alaskan railroad.

Even when I do get into a routine, I tend to mix it up a little. For instance, Jon Boy and I order a 5 Buck pizza about once a week or so. He always gets the same toppings on his half, but I alternate between two combinations: ham and pineapple or pepperoni, green pepper, and olives. I know, big change.

But sometimes I feel that my obsession with change can be dangerous. Jon Boy and I spent the end of May and some of June browsing apartment listings in the area to see if we could find anything bigger, cheaper, or both. We looked at one place that was bigger and had lots of storage (something this place does NOT have) and was cheaper. However, it didn’t have a bathtub, something we will need once Lego is big enough not to use his baby bathtub.

Well, I got all excited about moving to this place, even despite the bathtub thing. “We’ll figure something out,” I told myself. “The storage and the price are too good to pass up.”

Luckily, Jon Boy has more sense than I do about such things. We ended up making a list of the pros and cons, and we quickly saw that they balanced out. If that place would only be as good as this one, not better, why move?

I felt that staying put was the right thing to do, but I still spent the next few days pining for that place, feeling dissatisfied with our lack of storage.

The whole thing happened again when we looked at a place even bigger than the first and even nicer than our current place (which is very nice). The rent was a little cheaper than here. It was perfect.

Except it didn’t have a dishwasher. Everyone who has lived without a dishwasher knows what torture it can be. The decision was tough, but eventually we decided, once again, not to move.

During the decision-making days, though, I found myself picturing where we would put our couch in the new place, how we would use the storage, what it would be like working in that kitchen, and how we would manage the move. Once we’d decided not to move, I couldn’t think about these things anymore. It was back to the boring old laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. I felt quite a letdown, actually. I had been looking forward to new problems, new challenges.

On Monday, though, I completely rearranged the furniture in the living room. In doing so, I solved quite a few decorating problems the room had had. Suddenly my craving to move is gone.

I think I just needed a break from more menial jobs, a chance to use my creativity. I’m glad I found a productive outlet for my changelust.


  1. I too have incredible change lust, this doesn’t help the fact that I’m an extreme pack rat. I constantly have many different projects that I do over and over again because I like the change. I don’t know how many times my cd collection has changed the order. I’m also addicted to moving and finding better ways to make the rooms more efficient. Then I’m always yard sale shopping as well. It’s an awful craving isn’t it? Wow, just thinking about it I can see how much of my life is tied down by change. Pretty funny way of putting eh?

  2. I fall into the category of people who hate change. I’m glad you found an easier way than moving to satisfy your desire, though.

  3. We’re always looking at apartment listings and stuff like that. I like change in some things, but not in others, but we love looking at apartments and houses and imagining what it would be like to live there. It’s probably also due to the fact that we’ve been in this place for three years and are getting tired of it. But, it’s right across the street from my husband’s job, so we’re not going to move until we have to. I’m glad to know I’m not the only weirdo who loves to look at apartment listings. I really love the websites that include floorplans!

  4. I’m currently in the throws of my regular two year itch. Since high school, you can neatly chronicle my life in two year periods. Two college transfers and two moves. I’m working on move number 3.

    I’m not sure what it is that drives the urge to shake things up, and in a lot of ways I’m anti-change (I’ve eaten the exact same breakfast every morning for the last three or four years). But it’s certainly frustrating.

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