I think it’s important to get to know yourself. Not just on a surface level but right down deep to the core.
Not just your likes and dislikes but your beliefs and why you do the things you do.
Something I’ve always focused on is behaviour. When you find yourself doing and saying things, feeling like you are making a choice to act a certain way if you take a step back you might come to realise that you’ve just been falling into a familiar habit loop over and over again.
That you’ve become so accustomed to your past behaviour that you turn to it whenever similar situations occur without actually considering if it’s the best way to respond.
Imagine that you could order a life refresh online and it would come in the post, perhaps same day amazon prime delivery. Maybe it would come in a sachet with fun 80s graphics on the cover.
You tear across the top, pour it into a glass of water, stir and drink.
It’d put you to sleep with the promise that you’d wake up to a new life or perhaps just a fresh perspective on your current life.
I think we often underestimate the power of perspective. You’re new life is here if you’re willing to think differently, to think another way.
I worry about sounding airy fairy when I come out with statements like that but the power of perspective is very real.
We all have at some point changed our thoughts and opinions on particular topics, looked at them from a different angle and realised that sometimes we have the opportunity to grow and think differently.
Even if it contradicts the way you used to think.
I think I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer but also someone who can spend long amounts of time in their own thoughts and their own company.
I did that so freely as a child and it’s only really as I got older that it felt like it became an issue. I fell into trying to be someone outside of who I am and other people would comment negatively on me simply being myself.
As much as I can be so many different things, the part of me that just likes to sit and get lost in creating always remains.
I was 18 years old sitting on a swing in a park at dusk. I felt lost at the time and also a little hopeless. I didn’t know what to do, what I should or even could do and so I sat swinging on the swing.
It was a return to something I loved to do as a kid that brought me joy at a time in my life when I needed it.
The spirit of your childhood self works like a medicine, it can clear the fog in your mind and give you a fresh perspective.
With age we often loose that spark we had as children that freedom and care free attitude.
I used to do all kinds of things when I was younger just because I could. At school I played football and netball but was also in the dance, music, cooking and sewing club. I was probably the worst on the netball team and my sense of rhythm is enthusiastic, but it was always still fun.
I did things because the opportunity was there, and I took it. For me it was always just about doing things, not about how good I was or being better than anyone else.
That is probably one of the main things I miss as I’ve gotten older and as I spend more time returning to the pastimes of my past self, I’m also making an effort to return to that old mindset.
Do more, think less.
Growing up in watched a lot of TV and became really interested in characters, how we define ourselves and labels.
I think that is where my interest in people, the human experience and eventually social science came from.
I grew up trying to figure out who I was and what labels fit me. I was constantly trying to put myself in a box thinking that this would be the best way to understand myself.
But it didn’t work. We’re much more complex than we give ourselves credit.
Over time I find myself regularly discovering new aspects of myself. Some of them fit the story I used to tell myself of who I am and others don’t.
But unlike in the past I’m no longer trying to fit into boxes, I’m actually willing to explore myself and my humanness and all the aspects of self that I discover along the way.