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9.11.2010

"CHA, CHA, CHA, CHA CHANGES..."

Getting old starts when you're very young.  Getting old is all about change, changing and changes.  I don't want to get old.  Looking at the why of that recently I think I understand the reason.  Now I have to change why I feel that way.  I try not to be compartmentalized in my thinking but on the issue of change, I might be (working on taking the wall down though).  You know, this is good change and, over here, this is bad change.  I too must be a creature of habit, even though I don't want to be.  I want to be fully free-spirited, open and embrace all things with a beautiful dance in my life.  Change happens so fast in childhood.  It's like rapid fire. Your thoughts grow, your body accelerates forward, your emotions lurch, your heart experiences pain, confusion, and pleasure, your personality forms and finds it place among the others in the world, freedoms increase, opinions of self & others open up, your vision of all things unfolds awkwardly at first and then quickly like a gazelle.  All of that happens without being overly conscious of the change that is propelling you forward.  I have had moments of vision and clarity where that window of seeing change and its significance was clearly felt.  When I was 7 years old my dad would put me on his shoulders and march around the dining room table offly singing, "You are my sunshine.  My only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are gray.  You'll never know dear how much I love you.  Please don't take my sunshine away."  I had a clarity moment right then.  I knew this was temporary - Dad would not always carry me and that this was fleeting.  My heart thought those things along with a hint of sadness that this thing that I loved, this magical moment, would end.  For the first time, I categorized change into the "bad" slot.  In 7th grade my menstrual cycle started.  It was not a welcome change in my life either.  My extreme moment of clarity came while sitting in the bathroom bleeding and gazing at feminine hygiene products that I knew would now be a regular part of my life.  How to make room for change you don't want and that moves you where you either don't want to go or that you are unsure of.  I cried that day saying out loud, "I do not want to grow up.  I want to stay a kid."   Self-awareness was flooding over me through forced change.  Love brings changes too - the kind brought on by the opposite sex.  I deeply loved someone when I was young.  My mind, my heart, my spirit connected to him unlike anything before him or anything after him.  The path of love, deepness & rawness of emotions, and choices brought unwanted change to my life.  He married another leaving me holding my love for him with nowhere for it to go but inside my heart for a lifetime.  That change altered my life greatly.  More accurately, my reaction to that change altered my life through my own choices of reacting to his choice.  I was realizing that change is not only an event, but also a ripple.  How to move on when you don't want to - how to make changes through pain is tough.  Marriage and a child brought more changes that I was keenly aware of.  The ability to see the ever changing things around me went up decibels instantly.   Now I not only saw my own ever changing world, but how the lives of a husband and daughter affected changes.  I too watched the changes occurring in their lives.  As my daughter grew into her own through the propelling powers of change - I realized life is very full circle.  Dropping her off at college and returning to emptiness of house I knew we were yet again embarking on the familiar territory of change.  It brought both pain and pleasure.  Struggling to survive in a marriage without the good stuff in it forced me to look solely at myself and God.  I could not evoke or perpetuate change in him no matter my method.  Instead, I would need to change my own mind & heart to endure 25 years of barrenness of spirit, soul and mind.  When after a quarter century of marriage I could no longer find my own spirit, soul or mind I had to initiate change - leave a marriage.  This was both frightening and freeing.  Now this change of married to single moves me in a different direction.  I am finding change is a necessary agent, almost like a bus pass or an I-zoom ticket, through life.  I must change a lifestyle, a pattern of living, the way I make money, how I view the future and what I think about the constantly moving waters of change.  David Bowie says it pin-pointedly clear, "Cha, cha, cha, cha changes. Turn and face the strain."  So, at 44 standing on the top of a cliff, I have turned my face purposefully, straining into the winds of change.  I want to welcome them.  Instead of only seeing how they alter things we don't want altered or, being reticent to walk in change since we are unsure of what it looks like on the other side -decidedly I want to turn toward it.  As I age I don't want to fear the changes it brings; in physical appearance, in decreased stamina, the shrinking back of your world, of often times illness, slowing down, or how comfort trumps style eventually.  I want a new and heightened ability to see and experience what is before it isn't, without being paralyzed that it is no longer when it changes:) 

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