Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.
Livin' the Dream
August 20, 2022
"I don't understand why people want to move up here and then turn this into what they left – it makes no sense!" said Kim S. in the popular Facebook group "Tehachapi Ask."
This was her answer to the question: "What services or small businesses would you like to see in town?"
Of course, everyone has a personal favorite business they'd like to see in Tehachapi, but it's not usually a deal breaker for whether you live here or not. "If I don't see an El Pollo Loco here soon, I'm leaving!" is something you'll never hear, obviously, because living here is so sweet! People are here because they want to be – for the whole small town Tehachapi experience.
Everyone in these online groups love Tehachapi, I think they just wanted to share what would make it MORE perfect to them. And everyone had their personal favorites:
Trader Joe's... Grocery Outlet... More wineries... KFC... Another good sandwich shop... Emergency Vet Clinic... Indoor Rock Climbing... Sprout's... Marshal's... Whole Foods... Gynecologist and women's care... Vegetarian restaurants... Raising Cane's... No chain stores at all... Costco... Used bookstore... 24 Hour Fitness... Panera Bread... Hobby Lobby... In N Out... Natural food stores... A water park... Shoe and clothing stores... Vallarta Supermarket... Beauty Supply... More kids' activities... Chick Fil A... Eyebrow threading... More sporting goods... Popeyes... No more fast food... Boot barn... NASCAR simulators... Target... Poke... Jamba Juice... Sea food restaurant... Casino... Urgent Care...
It can be fun to talk about "What ifs" if we don't lose perspective: change is a constant, but the most important parts about Tehachapi we would like to preserve.
Community, being the main one. But who talks about that, besides the pastors or The Loop newspaper ("Celebrating Community")?
What does community feel like, or look like?
Family... treating others with respect and compassion... people sharing their natural gifts... chatting in line with other locals... contributing to causes... looking out for the kids... practicing patience... congregating... shopping locally... inviting your neighbors over for a barbecue... looking at the big picture... buying coffee for the person behind you... adopting a dog or a cat for the mutual love... attending the Thursday Farmer's Market and meeting new friends... helping out wherever you can... always trying to look on the bright side... seeing everyone as family... being okay with change...
Many changes have made us better. As we've aged, we've gotten wiser because we've already weathered so many changes that we've gotten much better at "surfing those waves."
Or... we've chosen to hold onto things from the past, which creates suffering and bitterness. We're sometimes afraid to let them go because they've since become such a large part of our identity that we might not know who we are without them!
It's a very human thing to go through (I hear you, Tehachapians who lament the day we added a second stoplight!) – but we can only affect how we respond to the present moment for ourselves.
Kinder thoughts for others and ourselves also keep our immune system operating high so we don't catch as many viruses. Learning to have the "...serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" can keep us healthier and happier.
Aging certainly teaches us about "the impermanence of life." Aging gracefully is more about letting go of what's not truly important (those gripes and grudges of the ego - what did they ever do for us anyway?) – and embracing what's really important (you know, LOVE, and all that stuff).
Rising above. Connecting with our "better angels." You know the drill.
Did you know you changed Tehachapi just by being here? That's right, and we appreciate the contribution of you and your gifts – it makes the town what it is. Keep up the good work.