I helped a friend of mine move last Saturday. Then Sunday, I got a massage. Best scheduling idea ever! Though the move was relatively easy (i.e. no pianos), it’s still a bit of heavy lifting, which takes its toll nonetheless. My massage therapist (“masseuse” just sounds too iffy in this day and age, though if you choose to call yourself one and you’re not a borderline hooker I apologize for the repressive connotation society has placed on that word) can always tell when I’ve been up to something outside of my usual sloth. I get pretty dumb, though, when a woman is rubbing me, so when she inquired it took me about five minutes to remember that helping this friend move might be the cause of the tight shoulders that were so quickly spotted by my kneading pro.
One nice thing about massages is that they allow me an hour of quiet time to think. One of the thoughts that popped into my head during this time to myself the other day was that moving is a very clear demarcation of a new beginning. It allows for something of a clean slate; but even if you buy new pieces of furniture or whatever, you’re still going to have a lot of familiar stuff around. You get to find new places for your old things, yourself included. You can never move away from you, but you can move yourself into a new you.
One of the beautiful things of our human existence is that we each have the ability to start anew any old time we want. Want to switch political parties? Want to become someone who loves to hunt and hates to knit as opposed to the other way around? Want to stop eating meat and go all-tofu-all-the-time? Well, go for it! The possibility for a new beginning for you exists in this moment, and in the next, and in the next one after that. All you have to do is make the decision and then follow through on it. And should you decide that, gosh darn it, you like to knit and hunt, then by golly, you can change your mind all over again, and be a vegan knitter who hunts and is a Libertarian. Who’s going to tell you that you can’t?
Well, let’s get real. There will be people who will tell you that you can’t be what you want to be, but let’s get real again: Those people are poops. Those people are probably not advising you in your interest but rather in their own. Oh, they may not mean to hold you back, but change can frighten people, and sometimes even those closest to you will try to prevent you from following your heart or your mind because they can’t envision who you’ll be if you change. Tell them you’ll still love them, and then take your leap.
Of course, it’s also possible that whatever change you’re pondering is crazy, and those other people are right. Often a perspective off kilter from your own can be a very handy thing to hear. But who the heck are they to make the decision for you? I think if you come to your choice to change honestly, with a level of introspection commensurate with the size of the decision, then you can in good conscience ignore those who will tell you you’re wrong to do whatever it is you’ve decided to do.
Life is to be lived, and your life is to be lived by you. Don’t let anyone stop you.