I can’t even tell you if this is a real memory or not, but many years ago when I was somewhere around 18 I made some glib comment about “finding myself”. My aunt replied with a quote:
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.George Bernard Shaw
And yes, it’s a bit cliché and something your neighbor would have on a coffee cup or something, but, like most quotes, I think it hides a deep truth.
A short article in the Guardian, “Are you really yourself” reminded me of the lesson. Life is not about digging under some veeneer or removing layers of vinyl flooring until you find the original hardwood. It’s about accepting that our inner narative may be limiting us.
In the past I’ve often shied away from my rural past. It wasn’t me. I wasn’t like all the other rural folks who drove ski-doos and went hunting. I was a computer nerd. There was no place for both or for something else. I was in essence playing an archetype.
Perhaps the challenge in changing our minds about who we really are is not to rationally persuade ourselves into a new story about who we are, but to learn to live for periods of our life without one.“Are you really yourself“- Guardian
What preconceived notions about myself do I have left to ignore?
What about you? What are the ones you ignored and grew from? How did they happen?