Sounds a bit like a problem I had not too long back.
When you say "it feels different", does it feel looser than before, as in you don't feel any resistance? In my case a small roll pin had come out of the mechanism and turning the key did not turn the connecting rod to the inner lockworks. I could also turn the key almost 360*. Try centering the key and pulling out, if it doesn't come out try turning the lock 180* and try pulling out again.
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72
'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis
2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel
Non illegitemae carborundum.