"Change" begs the questions "From what?" and "To what?"
Change is, for me, like most people, hard. But although change is hard, fear of change is suicidal. Trying to stop the process of change, trying to keep things the way they are, or worse, to bring back an earlier time, is to consign yourself to a damp, gray, Purgatory. You will never succeed. You will wear yourself out. Our only refuge is in hope and hope lies in Tomorrow.
I haven't conquered my fear of change. I fear the transition in becoming a writer. I fear that I won't make it, that all my neuroses and insecurities will flare up, a madness born of Asian parenting and valuing the shelter of big organizations. Have I defeated my upbringing?
I'm doing it now.
2011 has been all about change.
From the church of my yesterdays to a community who can support my tomorrows.
From the heavy frame of a powerlifter to a more economical chassis.
From wavering to steadfastness.
From selfishness to humility.
From fear to courage.
Boon Church and its culture are antithetical to where I'm going. I've written for a number of years on the things I detest. I find sitting in Flushing restaurants talking about sitting on a couch watching reality TV or sports repugnant. That's not fellowship for me. That's spiritual suicide. The church I'm eyeing fascinates me. In their 5 years of existence, 9 non-profits have started within their community. Intrepid, entrepreneurial spirits fill the community. I'm excited.
Weight loss has been something I've talked about but have failed to accomplish for a number of years. Going from 320 to 220 has been such an accomplishment. A part of me felt that I earned the right to rest on my laurels. You look fine. Women actually check you out now. Men come to you for advice. No need to change anything! But 'good enough' is not good enough for where I'm going. I don't want to do this until I'm 30 and then go on and live a sedentary life. I don't want to let my passion for adventure devolve into a side hobby of hiking and racing. To do this for my whole life, I better look into dropping weight. And I've done just that. I've reached 10 and 12 year lows in weight. I've hit one personal best at a race this year and nearly took two more. We're only 4 days into May. I'm excited.
When I first considered writing, I said "I'd try it." Those words haunted me, shamed me. I read Mark Twight's "Twitching" half a decade ago and it inflamed my spirits. This video burned the image of a real workout into my mind. The song that comes on at 2:15 is "Thunder Kiss" by White Zombie. "I never 'try' anything. I just do it." threatens one of the lyrics. Saying "I'd try it." betrays the spirit that I admired, the spirit that I received from Mark Twight. I wavered. I would not own up to my dreams, my beliefs. As Peter denied his God, his friend, so I denied my soul. But now, I no longer waver. I make the same declaration I did when I first had my heart broken. I will change or I will die. I do not believe in NOT risking your life. In fact, one should realize that every true choice risks their life, whether they will live themselves or die and eke out a false life.
And so I realized I didn't need to grasp my life as tightly as I had. I have enough regrets about my yesterdays. I once told a girl I loved that I was going to live my life the way I wanted to and if anyone wanted to come along for the ride then they were free to do so. I don't believe in living that way any longer. My life isn't my own. I recognized that in many ways. Perhaps I thought I could hold one small corner back and it wouldn't be noticed, missed. Perhaps I thought that with love, I might find a safe way to love, but one cannot love defensively. Tomorrow demands that I hold my life loosely, as one might hold a small bird. When it needs to fly, you need to let go. When you are in love, you must never live otherwise.
And so, this is my letting go. This is my discovery of courage, of resolve, determination, hope.
I feared not recognizing myself at the end of 2011. I should have hoped not to recognize myself. Who I was won't be appropriate for what I'll do.