Let’s face it. So many want us to change.
We’re too loud. Too shy or self-effacing. We talk too much or too little. We need to lose weight or to gain it. Our opinions are too like theirs or not enough. If only our nose was smaller, or we were taller. Smarter. Better yet, if only we really understood them.
There is the honeymoon period where it seems the new person really “gets” us. The euphoria, the ecstasy of being understood at last. Oh, how we glory in this. Then, predictably, comes the period of remodeling or “angst.” We are “perfect”, but “if only.” Could we just change the one thing, and the next, then still another?
If only we were willing subvert everything we are, or could be, in order to better please “them.” If only we could give up every trace of identity and be their puppet.
Ha. As if. Not me. And if you are the person I think you are, by virtue of the fact that you can tolerate this blog, then you are not that puppet either.
This week’s Musical Monday is a catchy little diddy by the band Churchill and, yes, it’s called “Change.”
Those who know me best know I spent years, I mean years, at Star Skate in Santa Rosa (my sister skated competitively), so the fact that this video features an eccentric roller skater, I don’t know, tickles me? Either way, there is a symmetry that it’s a video of resisting change and the protagonist exerting their individuality through roller skating. Call it resonance.
Compromise- yes. Converse and work together- you betcha’. Bend and sway in the world’s wind in common cause- you know it. Become something that you are not, please, NO.
Be you. Take the road less traveled. Be the you, you always wanted to be, that you knew could happen. Pursue joy. Revel in the dance. Listen to the voices. Those who would stifle you, who would make the YOU within feel less or ashamed, these are the ones with work to do. Their issues are not yours.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Because, as we travel through this lovely riddle, this masquerade called life, we find the real people. These are the people for whom the masks are not needed, that excuses are superfluous, and facades are seen as the shams that they truly are. These are your real friends. They see our freak flags, yet, still love us, even encourage us to fly them higher. These are the anchors that your spirit will seek out again and again. They are your touchstones, your real reason for gratitude. We all have them. The people with whom we are our best self, who do NOT, under any circumstance want us to change. Love them. Thank them. And then, make them proud.
For the world is yours- reach out, live, love and be not ashamed.
How’s that for a New Year’s Resolution?