The moment a child is born a personality is revealed.
As I watched my girls standing at the bus stop this am, I was reminded of how they are who they are because they are who they are. Many days I wish I could merge a little drive from one child with a little humor from the other but they are simply who they are meant to be. Parents out there know trying to change a child is, is nearly impossible. One has to learn how to rethink their strategy in dealing with the little personalities to get them to behave/do what is asked of them.
What happens when we get older? When do we lose the inherent ability to just be ourselves? So many adults (myself included) so many times forget to be ourselves. Work, family, and daily business all set certain expectations we tend to try to met but there is a cost: we lose a little of ourselves trying to be the person we think others want us to be instead of being the person we want to be. How is it then we get back to remembering who we are? Do we even know who we are? Over the past few years, (No, this doesn’t happen over night) I have worked towards this very goal. Change takes a conscious effort to replace old behaviors/thoughts with new more positive outcomes.
Below is a list of efforts I have made to help me get back to being the person I once was:
•Write a list of things you’ve always wanted to do. These things could be simple things (like getting a manicure, massage, or hair colored) to more elaborate things like backpacking through Europe. Start doing the things on that list! Tackling even the smallest wish is a start.
•Be the adult, not a child. Let go of living in the eye of your parents. Think about this for a moment. How many times do you think to yourself “I don’t want to disappoint my parents?” “What would my parents/siblings think?” Maybe these were thoughts only I had running through my mind for 36 years of my life. Maybe these thoughts aren’t even conscious rather subconscious. We grow up always trying to please our parents in one way or another and rightfully so. But at some point we have to realize we are adults and pay our own bills etc, our parents will love us no matter what. It’s time to let go our trying to earn approval and start living to please ourselves.
•Stop feeling guilty. Take time for yourself. Sure at first everyone is going to have a hard time adjusting but over time a new routine is established. Get over feeling like you need to be everything to everyone except yourself.
•Say No. Say no to over scheduling yourself and your family. I feel like our schedule is busy and I really limit our extra circular activities. I want my kids to have downtime to play and be kids. This remind me to have down time to do the things that make me happy.
•Make mistakes. Mistakes don’t happen very often in my life. LOL. When they do I use them as reminders that I’m not perfect, nor do I try to be. Mistakes happen and yet my friends and family still talk to me, shocking! 😉
•Let go of negativity. This is probably the hardest thing to do because we live in a world of negativity. Ask yourself “how do this help me become who I really want to be?” If a thought/item/hobby/job/relationship isn’t helping you be you ask yourself why you keep nurturing it? NOW this isn’t to say quit your job or dump the boyfriend…those are life changers. But think about how you can change them to make them better. Do you have friends who only talk to you to gossip, complain or you walk way feeling drained? Limit time with those people. It’s better to fill life with people who inspire and empower you to be you.
•Understand people judge you based on their own personal perception not on your intention. Think about when you’re in a bad mood how every action another person performs is irritating to you. It could be the waiter said hello in a flat tone or the cashier didn’t smile enough, and because of our bad mood they weren’t friendly enough for our expectations at that moment. If you know your intentions are good and you really didn’t do something wrong, let it go. I remember when in my mid 20’s, some people thought I was to blunt and out spoken. The wrong things were said many times. After a while I stopped talking all together and just went along to not make ripples. Then through the process of being me again, I was told I needed to be patient with others reactions towards me because I don’t normally speak up. ???????? Funny thing was, no one noticed when I stopped talking because they were too busy enjoying the their own perception that I was a “quiet” person to begin with.
These are some of the things I have done over the past few years to really get back to being me and understanding the way I am. I share them because this photo project is part of the goal in exploring who I am and understanding me. A lot of the bullet points were hard to face and expose my vulnerable side, but now these are things I think about often not only for myself but for my family. The better I know myself at the core, the better I am able to deal with my kids and my spouse then the better we are all able to make each other in the future. I only hope those who read this can use it in some way to better themselves and know they aren’t alone.
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