I have made many shifts and changes in my life this year. And as 2016 ends I find myself clocking in a few more.
But this time it is a more difficult undertaking because what I am trying to shift and change is myself at my core. Not the whole core of what I am, because that is the essence of myself, but I mean the shades of definition surrounding that essence. You know how a diamond or a crystal reflects light differently depending on the angle of its setting or how it is polished? Something like that. I am shaping how my true self is presented and seen so that it is as close to the truth as well as the best of itself as possible.
This is not about not caring, or caring too much, of what the world thinks. This is about caring about what I think while giving the world a fair chance to meet me halfway to a win-win compromise. The compromise is inevitable. There will always be a gap between the needs and wants of individual and the group. But there is also always a way to strike a lively balance. Lively because the decision to enter that relationship is not a one-time thing but an every moment thing. It moves with us, and affects every thought and action.
Most of my life I have acquiesced to what the world expected. I have changed my outer self into so many forms that sometimes I did not recognise who was looking back at me from the mirror, nor who was speaking in my voice denying what I truly felt or thought. Most of my life I have been too careful and overly defensive. At the same time I have had experiences of being completely irreverent of the rules and disregarding of responsibilities. Extremes are hard. So is the supposedly safe middle ground. So is sitting on the fence suspending the unavoidable.
After squandering years trying to make my life an eternally preserved snapshot of a dream I finally come to the realisation that life is instead an eternal movement. The question is indeed not the destination but how I keep on the journey, because every point of the way is both an ending and a beginning, and every step is a choice every time. What I have been trying to do (and failing) is to capture a moment and keep it still and perfect. Life is not that way. Life wriggles and squirms and jumps and shivers.
Life is also adaptation, change, evolution. The mistake I often make is that I assume it means I have to change what I am at the core. But my core is my difference, the purpose and magic of my life, my token of participation and contribution to this present universe. I cannot negate it otherwise I negate myself.
The change and evolution I need is growth, transformation from that core. Not replacement or substitution. Not conforming or copying. While nothing is ever original -- it's all been done and all that -- there are infinite connections and combinations that have yet to be made of the raw materials we are all given. Creativity is connection and combination, and the output is both familiar and strange, old and new. I am creating myself into becoming, coaxing the seed of myself into full bloom.
The same is true of love. I cannot say, I am done with love. Or that I will never have a chance at love because the rules are fixed. The rules can be bent and broken. Or there can be no rules at all. Love, if it is true, like the selves we are meant to nurture, will find a way to be. Love will make bridges where there are none. Or simply evolve wings.