A few days before ringing in the new year, we ordered Chinese takeout.
As I ate my shrimp with lobster sauce, I stared at the fortune cookies that sat on the coffee table in their cellophane wrappers. This is it, I told myself. The defining fortune for 2014. The single thought that will guide me in the 365 days to come.
This is how I live my life. Giving things like cookies and totems and Magic 8 Balls way too much power.
Holding my breath, I opened the plastic wrapper, snapped the cookie in half and carefully slid out the white strip of paper.
“Welcome change,” it read.
Whaaat? Obviously, there had been a mix-up at the fortune cookie factory. This fortune was intended for someone less uptight and rigid. Miley Cyrus, perhaps.
I handed the fortune to W, and she just laughed. (A very robust, hearty laugh.)
Because here’s the thing: I hate change.
It’s probably because we moved around so much when I was a kid. We were supposed to pretend that we had outgrown our house and our friends like last year’s blue jeans, even though none of that was true.
While my fortune advised me to welcome change, I told W that wasn’t happening.
“This is the year that I teach the universe a lesson,” I announced.
I had this visual of me trying to stop the world from spinning, tendrils of smoke rising from the rubber soles of my Dr. Marten’s as I tried to hold on.
“Yeah, good luck with that,” she replied, returning her attention to her chicken mei fun.
She knows not to encourage me.
Of course, it would be crazy to think that there won’t be change in the new year. But change is scary, and I don’t do scary.
I like same and comfortable. My pillow that has been perfectly flattened from years of use, a well-worn T-shirt, my morning newspaper, my car radio tuned to the 24-hour sports channel.
Back to my fortune. Failing to heed such ancient fortune cookie wisdom would be bad. But change is bad.
People, your favorite butch blogger was caught between a rock and a hard place.
Sometimes when I get stuck with my writing, I look up words in the dictionary.
a. To cause to be different.
b. To give a completely different form or appearance to; transform.
That’s when it hit me. Transform. I might be resistant to change, but I can transform. I’ve done that. I’m still doing that.
I think transform seems less scary, because it implies keeping the old and just tweaking it.
When you change a tire, you substitute a new one for the old one. When you change your mind, you turn a “yes” into a “no” or vice versa.
So, if I were to welcome change or transformation in 2014 — not that I plan to or anything like that, Universe — here are some transformations that I might actually embrace:
- Transforming into a writer who writes everyday (or almost everyday).
- Transforming into a published author.
- Transforming into a person who forgives more easily.
- Transforming into a person who readily gives praise and compliments and thanks.
- Transforming into someone who is constantly in awe of the greatness of God and gives daily thanks and praise.
- Continuing to transform into my best butch.
* * *
What about you? What transformations do you hope to make in 2014?