Tiny Wisdom: Addicted to Change

“You change your life by changing your heart.” -John Porter

I’m addicted to new and different.

I’ve been like this all my life. In my mid-20s, I toured the United States with marketing companies, in large part because everything was always new.

New cities. New work venues. New yoga studios. New restaurants. New hotels. New beds. New people. And I thought, a new me in each new environment.

It felt much easier to be present in my daily life when my surroundings and circumstances were constantly changing.

If ever there was something that weighed on me, I could metaphorically leave it behind with the heap of towels on the bathroom floor. If I ever did something I wasn’t proud of, I could release my negative feelings like exhaust from my rental car as I fled one town for another.

I thought of this the other day I explored my new apartment community, where my boyfriend and I will move at the end of the month. This is my seventh home since moving to California four years ago.

In my defense, I’d had valid reasons for changing apartments each time—from moving closer to work, to downsizing, to cohabitating. But there’s no denying the excitement I’d felt with each massive change.

Change can be seductive, particularly if you’re hurting, or feeling frustrated, and looking for a distraction.

Change can create the illusion of progress where really there’s just resistance to doing what actually needs to be done.

Like sticking with a solid plan. Or sitting in the discomfort of an emotion. Or working on a strained relationship. Or challenging an instinctive response. Or recognizing what you really want to change, in your situation or in yourself.

It’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot to see, explore, and enjoy. It never benefits us to stagnate in a routine that’s only holding us back. But sometimes we need to ask ourselves: Do I really want big change, or is there some greater need underneath it?

Photo by iBrotha

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Jen

    Oh I can totally relate to this.  When I found the apartment I live in currently, I was so happy to have found a place big enough for my kids that I could afford.  I was so excited to start making a real “home”… a few months later I was already looking for the next place. lol.  I think I do that a lot – want to change to leave the uncomfortable, imperfect bits behind.

  • I relate to this too. I think this is why I like to travel somewhere at least once per year — just to get a change of scenery. I’m in the process of answering your question because I’m contemplating changes that I’d like to make in my life in the next year and whether I want that change to be something huge like a move across country, or something smaller, like a move across town. Thanks for posting this. I totally relate!

  • You’re most welcome! I love getting a change of scenery. I feel like I am actually happiest when things are constantly changing, but I constantly need to ask myself, “What is my intention?”

  • Sounds like we have a lot in common. =)

  • This has definitely given me something to think about. I have lived in 4 different countries and moved to 4 different apts in the 3 years I was in the last city. Now I have settled a bit and have been in one place over the 3 year mark and I am itching for a change. But your right – it’s something bigger than relocation. It’s something I’m trying to find within myself. This was very powerful!

  • I’m glad this helped, Taryn! I suspected this was something other people might be able to relate to. It’s so tempting to change the big externals…though that takes work, it can be a lot easier than changing the internals. That’s definitely been the case for me!

  • Sara

    I’m 19 and genuinely relate to everything I just read.

    I’m trying to find out more about this. Is there anywhere online I can read about it?

  • I’m glad you could relate! Unfortunately, I don’t have any books to recommend, but I will let you know if I come across anything that may be helpful to you!

  • Sara

    In your research did you find it to be common?

    Also I noticed that all the posts on here, of the few, were women. Do you think that is relevant? Women change internally daily and monthly, maybe it can trigger an urge for change externally to correspond.

  • This isn’t actually something I researched. I just wrote this from my own experience! I think that’s a strong possibility, about why women specifically feel a need to create change, but I’m sure this is something men have experienced, as well.

  • Natalie

    I can totally relate with this! I have an obsession with change, constant need to change my hair style, my make up, move apartments, change up decorations, re-organzing my house, upgrading my skills, changing career paths! This is the longest Ive lived in my condo (2 years) since I was moved out of my parents house at 18. (I’m 29), and I’m itching for change again! Hard to say whether it’s across town or to a new city, I’m also in the process of changing up jobs! (for the better). My boyfriend thinks I’m too obsessed with change as well! Trying my best to settle a bit and determine what the underlying issue is as well, and learn to change little things to settle the change craving, instead of big things! Good article 🙂

  • The Dead Baron (Dindu Nathan’)

    I’m addicted to moving.
    Something related to a fear of intimacy, I imagine.
    It’s actually been a little problematic.

    A year has passed since my last big move and I’m planning another.
    I’m dragging a woman and my unborn child into this, now.

  • Richard Boase

    I think actually that wanting to change is very natural and healthy. Lots of people like to have things stay the same for a long time, conservative types, if you will. Perhaps the only thing I would say is that good change, healthy change, is thoughtfully directed, that you have a specific purpose in mind, and a specific aspect of your life you’re looking to develop.

    Personally, moving constantly into new places is a dream for me. The excitement and novelty of new places, people and circumstances is what I long for, but the deepest part of me is adamant that stability is what i need, so I stick firm to my roots, until I see an opportunity to shift some aspect of my deepest difficulties, and find some room for growth.

    Take care when you move. Take care of yourself and others around you. Be gentle.