I dislike change. Whenever I encounter it, I remember how much I hate it. It’s ridiculous, of course, because we all know that we wouldn’t even be in the present situation that we like if things hadn’t changed at some point- so why should we hate changing now? Maybe the next place we find ourselves will be even better. Or it may be worse. Maybe I’m just a pessimist.
I’ve felt unsettled for the past few weeks, and I know it’s because I’m moving. It was natural to feel unsettled while I was looking for a place, but now that I’ve found a place that I think I’ll really like… I still feel unsettled. Because of it, I second-guessed my choice for a little bit, until I finally decided it was the change, plain and simple.
When I moved to this place, I never meant for it to be long-term. But it’s been three years now, and I guess I’m settled.
I’m not even moving that far away! Just about two miles. Isn’t that silly? I’ll still shop at the same stores and take almost the same route to work. But enough will be different… yeah, I won’t have neighbors who curse loudly in the parking lot at their children and who play their stereos so loud my apartment shakes a little, my washing machine won’t sound like an airplane landing, the pipe in my wall won’t knock loudly every time the people above me run hot water, and it seems that I’ll have a landlord that will listen to me.
Isn’t it silly that I’m not ready for this change?
Other changes are afoot, too. The assistant pastor of the nice little parish that has become my home on Sundays was transferred to a small country parish. It’s a long story, but after two years of parish hopping, I finally felt at home at this parish. Part of it was thanks to the assistant pastor. He’s a convert from Anglicanism, and he was a newly-ordained Catholic priest when he came to our parish. So he was a nice mix of new and seasoned. : ) I started going to the early morning Mass, knowing he was saying it every week. And over the past year, I began to get to know the parish community. I had my routine of 8:30 Mass every Sunday, sat in the same pew, all of that.
I finally felt at home. Sunday Mass is one of the hardest things to do when you’re single. You either go to morning Mass and see all the families and miss your own, or you go to the evening Mass and see all the couples and wish you weren’t alone. Sundays are supposed to be such a joyful day– and for the first two years of living here, they weren’t. I went to Mass alone, sat alone, left alone. I’m not saying all of this to get your pity — just to show you how different Sundays are for me now. Sure, I still sit alone sometimes, and I still leave alone sometimes — but I know the people sitting around me, I talk to people after Mass, Father shakes my hand and said, “Good morning, Joannie,” … and it finally feels like home.
Now he’s moving, and I felt like my comfortable world was tossed into the air again. This past Sunday, he wasn’t there to shake my hand and tell me good morning.
But you know what? Not only did I not sit alone, I didn’t leave alone. I sat with wonderful friends who are coming into the Church, I sat across the aisle from a wonderful fellow-single friend who brightens my Sunday every time we happen to go to the same Mass, and I sat behind a new friend who has a most adorable family. And we all walked to brunch afterwards.
So despite the change, everything will be fine. The parish community is still lovely, and now I know more people than I ever thought I would. And, of course, the Mass is not about a priest. It’s not even about the people sitting next to you. It’s about Jesus. And I know that the Mass will still be said reverently, the liturgy will still be beautiful, and life will go on.
No matter how much I hate change, it’s just a part of the human experience. And I suppose the sooner I get used to that, the better.
Now excuse me — I need to go prepare a talk about the revision of the Roman Missal. Now that’s change I can get excited about.