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38. Change in the New Year

February 6, 2012

mugging change new year labyrinth bernal hill mugging change new yearA guest post from my friend S.:

Since I was mugged on January 1st of this year I’m a changed person. When my dear friend the Change Artist asked me to write a guest posting for her blog, she probably wasn’t expecting I’d write about this, I’ve had so many changes in my life this past year. I’ve moved across town and in with my partner and I’ve ended some other pretty big relationships in my life. But the mugging is what first popped in my head. Maybe because this change has been so unexpected and I’ve felt it so instantaneously. Unlike those other changes which have been simmering for awhile.

Walking down the street less than half a block from my house on that Sunday evening at about 7:15 someone came up behind me, grabbed me, reached into my pockets and then ran as I screamed my head off. It was awful. Terrifying actually. What a way to kick off the New Year, huh?

And now I am different. I don’t walk down the street in the same way anymore. Strangers walking up behind me are not trying to pass me on the sidewalk for walking too slowly as I used to think (and as I assumed the mugger was doing when he came up behind me). Instead, they are muggers or rapists or worse. People bumping into me on the street are trying to steal my stuff. The guy who pokes me on the shoulder on the bus is out to get me (actually, he wanted to know “Is there a Whole Foods around here?”).

So, I am changed. I don’t want to be a change artist. In fact, if I could I would probably try to keep my life exactly as it is for as long as possible. Same friends, same job, same schedule, same life. The changes seem to find me though. Fight them as I do. And, not all have been bad. Although they often look bad at first glance. Sneaky, change is. Like both a mugger and a guy wanting to know how to get to Whole Foods. Hard to tell if it is about to attack me or allow me the gift of being of service in the world.

At first glance the aftermath of the mugging has been a terrible change. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’m still angry it happened and feeling punished by the Universe. I’m jittery and look over my shoulder way more than I wish I would.

But not surprisingly there are gifts, too. I’m finally signed up to take the self-defense course I always thought I should take but could never move through my fear to do. I’m more aware walking down the street, so I notice more scenery, weather and people. I have more gratitude for being alive and safe – every day I am not mugged is a better one than January 1. It’s a great reminder that my most precious resource is THIS life, as much as I dislike the changes that keep happening in it. At least they are happening and with every breath and conversation and interaction I am different. So maybe I can try embracing it a bit more and not be so fearful? I know now I can trust myself that I’ll scream when I need to.

–S

Yea for the first in a series of guest posts! As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this blog is about change – not just mine – but all of ours — and I’m very excited to begin to bring the stories of others to this space.

–This Change Artist

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