Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Funny, the more I say it, the more I think about it, the more it stays a constant around me.
Constant change is a given, and it’s a continual process that happens all around each of us. The irony is that we never change, we are always the same.
So which is the lie?
I’m a simple man, with simple wants and desires and an unbendable longing for stability and dependability. I’m also a quester, a seeker of things new and intriguing, longing to reach for the stars that are infinitely beyond my grasp, one who is willing to throw away all my beliefs and values when they no longer serve me in search for a new morality which is more suited to who I have become as a person.
When others tell me that I will always be worthless and I will never change, it may be hurtful to hear at the time, but should I stop to think I will recognize it as a falsehood to be discounted. When I’m told I must transform and become an entire new entity I feel overwhelmed and know that I will ultimately disappoint, because I am myself. There is no other that I can be.
Change has a funny way of passing through one’s life. It’s always present, here and now, and has always been a factor around me. The passage of time alone necessitates change, I can no longer act as a child, nor would I want to do so any longer. My growth as a person has exposed me to new and more interesting facts of life and as I learn more it has changed my perception of events and details I previously saw through a different lens. Change is the only way we can truly adjust to our current circumstances, because our circumstances in the world are constantly changing in and of themselves.
Circumstantial change is adaptation to the world around us. We do what we have to do to get by. Directed change, now that is something that we control ourselves as we steer our course to where we want to be. I’ve had more than my share of circumstantial changes, and will continue to have more than my share ahead. I will, I shall, I can, I must, and most importantly, I want to take on those changes that await so that I stay ahead of the curve and not crushed beneath unfathomable pressure.
Directed change is so much more interesting to me right now. There is no question, the past year or so has seen a vast change in myself. It almost seems difficult for me to tally the differences, because in all honesty I simply haven’t been trying to document them all. I know on a more generic level I feel more connected with my local environment - my city, my neighbourhood, my work, even, perhaps, my family. It’s not that a year ago I said, “Hey, I want a new mayor and I want to be part of my community association and I’m going to change how I commute and connect with my city.“ It was, strictly speaking, acting on the unease and dissatisfaction I was feeling, and the strict distaste I have for hypocrisy. I wanted something better than the future I saw ahead of me, so I decided I needed to think and act and move. As that great poem states, “And that has made all the difference.”
Change tends to pass through my life in one of two ways. It can rumble, wielding Thor’s Hammer as a pendulum that scatters it’s effects to the left and to the right. Impactful in a very real sense, and that impact spreads it’s shock with little regard for bystanders or personal feelings. It is very much the crash course of life, the Canada’s Worst Driver rehabilitation centre, the place where change is hurried because hurried change has become necessary. The other force is through erosion, the endless, relentless wearing and grating of change. It can batter, it can build, it can erase, it can deposit. It can be controlled, it can be unstoppable. Every bit as full of impact, but it’s the Nenshification of my life, where one change brings about another until they cascade and I’ve become much more than I was a short while ago. A short while ago that’s so long in the past I can barely remember it.
No matter the force, I am fundamentally myself. I must adapt to what I have met, and react to the changes which press against me. There is no doubt, I am wiser, stronger, more capable than I was as a child. There is also no doubt that it was that child that became the man, and the man who has continued to grow and to shape. What to change in myself, how to readdress issues around me, how to respond to my new circumstance, those are decisions best made willingly, with clear purpose and full intention. I need to choose the things which are relevant in my life, which are important in my world, which align with my values.
So I’m not a different person. And still I have changed. And I think I have a touch more insight into what I’ve been thinking about the past week or so.
You’ll have to trust me, this is NOT an “End of Year Wrap-Up” blog. This is a serious attempt to answer the question of, “How?“ How must I direct change within myself to be a better person? How can I become more effective? How shall I be more supportive, more communicative, more open in my intentions, more respectful in my listening? How can I ask the question, “What do you need?” when I am not prepared to actually answer?
I thought I’d be asking if I should. That change has already passed me. How is a much better question to be asking anyways.