Change: The short list

Today's NaBloPomo prompt is a crack-up:

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Jesus. That is hilarious. One thing.

I know, I get it--this is supposed to be about that one thing. The most important thing. The thing that would, like falling dominos, change all other things.

But it's never that easy.

Or, as I told my therapist last week: I thought I'd have it figured out by now--all this doubt and self-loathing and sadness and fear. I thought being in your 40s meant you were finally over all this existential bullshit.

She just smiled at me and shook her head no.

That's not how it works, she said.


I mean my To-Change List is epic. There isn't  just one thing I would change; there's not even a Desert Island Disc list of things to be changed. There's an entire world of things I would change.

My shortlisted highlights comprise an ever-shifting amoeba of a list that includes, but god-help-me-is-not-limited-to changing the following:

  • How I'm selfish about my time
  • How I have trouble saying no in certain situations
  • How I forget to hit "save" at really crucial points when I'm writing or blogging
  • My weight/hair/stupid face
  • My crappy self-image
  • How I can't seem to save a substantial amount of money
  • How I can't just seem to say 'fuck it all,' quit my job and travel the world
  • The way I talk to myself
  • The way those conversations seem to be pretty damn boring
  • How I'll go several aisles out of my way at the grocery store to avoid talking to certain people
  • My social anxiety
  • The way I never seal Ziploc bags tight and everything inside them leaks/dries out.
  • The way I get impatient with my cats at 3 a.m. when they just want food or love.
  • The way I bite my nails
  • How I hate running
  • My sweet tooth
  • How I'm bad with names and faces
  • My inability to carry a goddamned tune
  • That my brain holds a lot of useless knowledge (fun fact: Elton John's real name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight).
  • That my brain can't process said useless knowledge under pressure and I therefore suck at trivia
  • The way I comma-splice the shit out of everything
  • The way I seem to verb everything lately
  • My irrational fear of spiders
  • The awful haircut I had in 7th grade
  • That I didn't try harder at math in high school
  • That I didn't live in New York longer
  • That sometimes, when confronted with failure, I retreat
  • My very unfeminine snoring
  • My nervous laugh
  • That awful haircut I had when I was 33
  • The way I stayed in some relationships too long
  • The way I walked away from certain people too soon
  • My flat feet
  • How I let some people altogether disappear from my life
  • That I didn't go to law school
  • That I didn't major in English
  • Certain family members
  • Wanting to change certain family members
  • That I hate the heat
  • How I'm allergic to everything
  • My clumsiness
  • That one time I sat in that apartment in Chicago, foolishly waiting on a friend
  • Every single time I was unnecessarily rude
  • 1989.
  • That one time I hung up on a radio deejay who claimed I'd won a million dollars. I mean who knows, right?

So much change. So many big changes smashed up with dozens of tiny little changes and at best all I can do is hope is that one day I'll accept that that I may succeed in only changing some of them.

Ah, I see what you did there.

Maybe that's the one thing: Acceptance. Moving on. Getting over it already.

Fine, you got me. Well-played, writing prompt. You win this round.


I loved reading this. In particular, the feeling that I should be less insecure and less full of self-doubt at my age. Most of this resonated with me...right down to the social anxiety and paying attention in math. I never wanted to go to law school, though. One major thing I would add is caring more about those who truly cared about me instead of being such a hanger on to "cool", "successful", "acceptable" people who didn't give a fuck about me and exploited me for my weakness and their ego. That being said, I'm going to go call my aunt who loves me. -ss

oh forgot to submit my name===Jenn Rogar--the one that went to law school!

I guess I just never see you in any of these just keep revealing your self to me and I like it.

Well, at least you can write about these things in a way that made me laugh and cry simultaneously. I hear you, girl, and I feel you.

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