My emotions have been fluctuating between total euphoria and abject fear lately. I am embracing change. This is to be expected; change is defined by its instability, its intriguing yet menacing nature, its inherent ability to simultaneously beckon and intimidate while working its black magic.

I have erected an imposing change-crane in the midst of a massive construction project called My Family. Prior to the crane, which is now working 24/7 to build a new infrastructure, I found fossils buried in the foundation. I might not have noticed them had I not become curious and begun exploring the landscape after a long period of ennui. Furiously digging as it became clear to me that all was not as it had seemed at the outset, I unearthed the long-buried treasures of passion, desire, metamorphosis, laughter and pure joy.

I quickly realized that the smooth, carefully calculated, surely laid base I had called Home, was in danger of eroding, imploding, caving in, or all three at once; if not immediately, then surely later. Living with the risk, though I had unwittingly been dealing with it for many years, was suddenly untenable. It was time for further excavation, and due to the urgency pressing against my sternum and the resonance of truth in my belly, it had to be swift and sure. Its immediacy became my new reality, even as I struggled to internalize the mass destruction I was endorsing with my selfish, singleminded reconstruction project. As Foreman, all the important decisions were mine. Even acknowledging my conscience as Construction Supervisor did not dissuade me.

Still the near-impossibility of successfully managing such a delicate undertaking was not lost on me, after all what archaeologist impatiently claws out treasures that have lain in the earth for aeons, treasures that in some cases have survived ferocious conditions, ancient battles? Nevertheless the required patience was obliterated by an incessantly urgent and loud beating; the pounding knowledge that it was “now or never.” In doing so, I had to acknowledge that speed over caution would necessitate some fallout, some less than ideal conditions in which to work. Nevertheless, like harmonious hammers flying, their steel heads landing perfectly on nail after nail in rapid succession, joining board to board to create something new, a tangible rhythm spurred me on and told me there was something fresh and beautiful in the making.

The permits have been secured, the foundation laid and the treasures protected. The bulldozers have been returned and the wrecking ball is now attached to the crane. The final vestiges of what once was will be mutilated with a few crushing blows and then the rebuilding will commence.

It would be easier to dismantle the ball and crane, to send the remaining crew home with their pay. It would be easier to simply display the unearthed treasures on a special shelf as a symbol of a past life or of dreams that were not meant to be. I am a practical soul though, and a firm believer that treasures are best when they serve a useful purpose. I also like to finish what I begin, though some would argue against my reasons and my methods for doing so.

Let the wrecking ball swing. Let this new life begin. I have decided to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Tomorrow is a New Moon.

Rest in sweet peace Susan Jeffers (author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, and other publications).

15 thoughts on “New

  1. Thank you for this post. Susan Jeffers changed my life in highschool. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is why I’m a writer, why I became a nanny instead of going straight to college, why I still leap over the edge and know there will be something to catch me. I am so sad, but also tremendously blessed by her life. Thanks for your articulate reflection and post about change, too.

    1. Isn’t it thrilling that as writers we have the ability to touch people in unknown ways? I am so thrilled that you told me of your special connection to Susan Jeffers, and I am sorry for the sadness you feel over her loss.

      I feel inspired by your response, not only as a writer, but also as a person in the midst of earth-rocking change. Thank you Elisabeth.

  2. So beautifully said….so bravely and honestly spoken…so gracefully walked……….

    you my dear sweet Brit are my beacon of courage beauty and strength !


    1. Patricia, you have always been my light and inspiration for decency, beauty, love, and truth. You have seen the deeper parts of me clearly and loved me through each and every moment (beautiful and dark alike). I love you!

    1. Lisa, thank you for sharing. I discovered it then as well, in excerpts, but am re-reading it now. The concept alone has stayed with me all those years. Just the knowledge that we can embrace fear and find the unexpected on the other side, be it untapped beauty within ourselves, dormant passions, new dreams or gentle confirmations is remarkable. Peace and courage to you.

  3. Guide the wrecking ball with your smarts and love, and most importantly, disregard most of the advice you’ll be getting so much of.

  4. Hey Britt, I’ve been out of the loop for quite some time, so this was wonderfully cryptic while feeling absolutely HUGE for you. I know all too well that to build something new, you often have to tear everything down, to raze it all to the ground. And yes, sometimes things are unearthed; some are treasures, and some best left to lie. Things can be kept, and saved, but foundations cannot be weak. And YES to this – “treasures are best when they serve a useful purpose”. I take my hat off to you. Good luck. Indigo =)

  5. Hi Britton– I am so far behind keeping up with the people I care about…. you have been so giving of your time and attention to us– I hope you are coming through the things you portray so beautifully in extended metaphor…I got down and detailed in a post tonight that I’ll put up tomorrow; what a relief to get it all out, how I really feel about my life.

    Maybe some time come out from behind the metaphor and let ‘er rip?


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