Sunday, September 17, 2017

On Being a Chameleon

There is nothing certain in this life except change.  Some people fear it.  You'd have to be crazy not to be wary of some of it - it can be dangerous -(e.g. the changes you go through when your house floods from a hurricane.)  But life is full of lesser changes (e.g. job changes, location changes, changes in marriage status, changes in social status, changes in style ,etc, etc, )  and, for the most part, I've always embraced them.  Welcomed them even.

When I was younger I used to watch and admire people who dug into their stations in life and stayed in line and came out the other side in one piece, steady and strong.  I still admire them.  They were the kind of people  who knew who they were and stayed true to themselves -  they made life-long friends, held one kind of job, in and around one location.  I used to think something was wrong with me because I had a VERY hard time with that.  I'd be on a track going along just fine and then I would hit a point where other ideas, adventures - yes changes - would occur to me.  I would have thoughts like "What if I did that?  What if I became this person?  What if I lived over there?  What if I studied that? "  And those thoughts would not be fleeting.  They would haunt.  But here's the main thing - I loved those thoughts.  Still do. These were the moments in my life that brought great joy and excitement.  They brought the juice.

It took many years for me to accept the fact that I just like changing it up.  It is who I am inherently.   I like tasting different aspects of life - and I like doing it in different locations with different lifestyles, wearing different types of fashion and in different occupations.  I accept now that it is OK for me to go where my heart sings.  And to be a chameleon.

And so without planning ahead to live such a life - it was organic - I find that there's a long list of chameleon-like changes that have occurred.

For instance:

Locations:  I've moved over 30 times in my life.  I own a house and keep it rented out just in case I ever decide to stop moving.  But that hasn't happened yet.  I've lived in many states and in other countries.  I've even lived in many neighborhoods in my own beloved hometown of New Orleans.

Lifestyles:  I've lived in mini-mansions, on tropical islands and dead-broke in a motel.

Occupations:  I've been an employment counselor, a life coach, a real estate consultant, a pastry chef,  a caterer, a law clerk, a copywriter, a public relations manager, a marketing manager, a psychic, a pie company owner, an exercise instructor, a dress shop owner, a radio show host, an author, a speaker, a sales person who has sold art, cars, software, clothes, cell phones & yoga retreats, and, of course, I've been an artist.

Studies:  English, Law, Medicine, Business  & Culinary arts.  (I studies all these and I ended up becoming an artist - go figure!)

Hair: Even my hair has gone thru the changes, I've been red, blonde, brunette, streaked, with blonde and blue, long, short, medium and chock full of extensions.

And we won't even talk about the fashion styles changes I've been through!

Of course, I've paid a price for these changes.  They have been exciting, thrilling even.  And interesting.  I've led a fairly interesting life (isn't that a Chinese curse?)  But they've cost me.  They've cost me a lot of money.  They've cost me, with a few exceptions,  the luxury of lifelong friends, relationships and resources.  They've cost me marriages.  I've made peace with myself over all this - you can't have it both ways.  I couldn't.

Either I had to do all those things in order to find the real person I am - the one who will stay (perhaps this incarnation as an artist)- or the next adventure is right around the corner.  I never know.  And it's OK either way.  I figure I'm healthy so I've still got a couple of decades left to find out. Knock wood.

My biggest take away from this life - the wiser (read older) I get, the more I realize that it's not the WHAT or WHERE I AM in this life that matters.  It is the HOW I AM IN THIS WORLD that counts.

Ever onward.
#NewOrleansart #Jaxfreyart
Mama Jax
Mama Jax

A blog by Jax Frey, an artist who loves, paints and lives all things New Orleans and writes about life's adventures - artistic and otherwise! I

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Mama Jax from New Orleans, LA.
Jax Frey is an artist who creates bold, colorful, super-textured paintings of all things New Orleans. Look for Jax's line of New Orleans mini paintings, her favorite painting series of New Orleans women called the Gumbeaux Sistahs (I love those chicks!) and other favorite Jax products on her website - I hope you enjoy your visit here and your comments make my day!

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