On change

May 21st, 2011 by Kawika Heftel

They say “nothing in life is more constant than change.” Life is basically one long string of adjusting to changes that happen, through our own choices or through others’. In the last almost-a-year, there have been a ton of changes in my life. I have basically re-built my life from the ground up, after the nuclear bomb of divorce shattered it. All my old patterns and habits disappeared in the aftermath, and I was left a shell of my former self. I found myself actively clearing away the rubble of lost inside jokes, habits that were never me, traits that I’d picked up to keep the peace. I found myself asking the question, over and over, “but who the hell AM I?”

I’m still working on that question, but I feel I have come a long way in ten or eleven months. I still have a long way to go, but I feel in some measure like I’m healing, and somewhat adjusting to my new life. All the old has been stripped away, and some of it has been replaced by new. Some of it is still in-progress. There is one difference – I live for ME now. One thing I never quite got down while married was how to live for another without losing yourself. How to live for the new team you’ve created. I think it’s because I never knew myself to begin with. This made me impossible to live with, because I tended to chameleonize to match my surroundings. I still have a ways to go, but I know now somewhat who I am, and I am done apologizing for it. I need to find someone who will accept me the way I am, a music and computer geek, because nothing’s gonna change that. And trying to be someone you’re not never brings peace. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.”

I’m not saying I don’t need to try and improve myself – on the contrary, I am just as focused on self-improvement as I was when I was perfectionistic and saw everything in black and white. The difference now is that I accept where I am, no matter how low that might be, and I work from there. You have to start from where you are. Shaming yourself won’t change anything; it will just keep you stuck where you don’t want to be.

I’m done apologizing for who I am. I am done hiding under a bushel, so to speak, in hopes that I will fit in with the crowd, in hopes of looking “normal”. Normal is overrated! Being myself is much more fun.

It’s not like there aren’t still tough moments in my life. One change I have not quite gotten used to yet is waking up alone, post-divorce. Once you’ve experienced waking up next to your best friend, not having to say goodnight, and knowing that person will always be there in your life, it’s surprisingly hard to go back. It has been almost a year since my marriage ended, and I still don’t enjoy waking up most mornings. Looking around and realizing “oh yeah. This is my life now.”

But there are still plenty of good things in my life. They’re just, well, different things now. I’m trying to enjoy the chapter of my life I’m in, rather than wishing for something that’s not there. Yeah, sometimes I wish I had those years back that we “wasted” on marital incompatibilities and fights, but if I hadn’t gone through that pain I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I like my life, ultimately. I like myself. I’m trying new and different things, expanding my horizons, making friends and trying to make a difference in the world, in their lives. A positive difference. I am loving learning how to use power tools, working on studio improvements, networking in the music industry, learning how to take care of myself and my surroundings, becoming my own best friend, learning to be self-reliant, learning to make better choices. Learning to surround myself with positive, uplifting people. Learning from both the similarities and differences between me and my friends, learning what I agree and disagree with. Making fun, uplifting games for kids. Getting paid to do what I love. Figuring out, finally, that I am addicted to music and don’t ever want to recover. Working on my keyboarding and vocal skills. Working on my business skills. Working on being the best me I can be, instead of worrying about being alone.

Ultimately, I am trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theory has always been there, as long as I can remember, but now I’m putting it into practice.

It’ll be exciting what the future brings.

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  3. 2011
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  5. worthwhile advice

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2 Responses to “On change”

  1. Hey man, thanks for sharing this. If I may, I completely agree with you that you gotta be your own person first. You can never change to be what someone else wants, because then you will be unhappy with yourself, in which case, even if you get what you want, you will still not have peace. But man, I know there are people out there for you, you just gotta wait for them to find you. :)

    Peace out man.

    --Zachery Hysong, on May 21st, 2011 at 5:57 pm
  2. Thanks for your kind words! I really appreciate it.

    --Kawika Heftel, on May 22nd, 2011 at 3:28 pm

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