It’s been a long while since I posted. But I’ve been busy. Really. I’ve undertaken the greatest amount of change in my life since motherhood. Changes that I initiated and changes that were forced upon me. And to paraphrase a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western—those changes were the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I’m often struck by the human attitude toward change. We seem to resist change…a lot. In my job as an instructional designer, I work with teachers who can see that something isn’t working, but still cling to that instructional method, content, or delivery. And even when some people decide to change, they try to take the old thing that didn’t work and repurpose it into something new. There’s a degree of familiarity in keeping to something familiar rather than take the leap toward something original and fresh.
I’ve spent the past year trying to create something new in my life because it was time. I’ve worked my way through years of clutter, both physical and mental. I’ve read and contemplated self-improvement ideas and theories. And I’ve shed many tears.
I’ve questioned the universe when it seemed my path was being blocked. Was a broken ankle a message not to purge clutter or was I being tested to see how much I wanted that fresh start? Perhaps it was just bad luck. Actually, don’t even get me started on the concept of luck.
Yet as resistant as we tend to be about change, who among us hasn’t found themselves in a rut at one time or another? And what is the remedy for a rut? Change.
A couple of nights ago, I watched the HBO documentary, David Bowie: The Last Five Years. Interestingly, my 81-year-old father had DVR’ed (yes, I know I just verb-a-cized a noun) it for me, remembering how his rebellious teen daughter had been a fan. And the adult daughter was still one.
As an artist, Bowie was a chameleon. It wasn’t just the music that changed from year to year, but the artistic delivery—the personality—of that music. I didn’t always like the results. Personally, synthesized plastic soul didn’t do anything for me, but I admired the talent and risk-taking. I suspect that Bowie’s revolving personalities were also a way to keep his private life private. More power to him for that.
Yet I also think the changes (yes, cue up Bowie’s song, Changes) were part of Bowie’s creative journey—trying out different musical and visual styles. He was always evolving, and in his last few years he was able to incorporate the best of the past into the present to create something new—Major Tom, Heroes. But unlike pseudo-change (changing the look of something you currently use, but not its essence), Bowie’s revisiting of his older works was part of the creative process.
We should all always be evolving. We will explore some roads that aren’t right for us. And that’s okay. It’s all part of the wonderful journey we call life.