What a journey life is. Crazy, intense, sometimes terrifying, and always amazing. Looking back, I don’t think anything from childhood adequately prepared me for life. There were lessons and classes and stories, but nothing that could really explain how to find myself. So much of our childhood is spent watching the people around us and trying to live up to the expectations of our parents, teachers, and other people we admire. What seems to be lacking is helping us learn who we really are. Not who anyone thinks we should be.
As I think about my 42 years on this planet I find that it’s really only been in the past 10 years that I figured out who I am. It’s different for everyone, some people break out of that shell at an earlier age. For me, it was the year that I lost my grandma that it all started breaking. Trying to be what I thought was expected of me was exhausting. Frankly, I was tired of wearing that mask. Thus began a new adventure to find out who I am.
I am guessing everyone has the same journey more or less. Figuring out who you really are and what you want out of life. There is no class in school that can actually teach this. You just have to live and learn. Read, travel, talk to people, and try different hobbies. Little by little you find the belief systems that resonate with you, the food you love, the hobbies that make your soul smile, and the people who are your tribe.
Slowly, but surely you find pieces of yourself through all of this and one day you realize you have arrived. Not that you know everything or have it all figured out. You just know that you love Thai food more than you ever thought you would and that you are okay with the coffee addiction and that your tribe is a wonderful, eclectic band of people who you cannot imagine life without. You no longer care about looking a certain way because that’s what other people like and you laugh every time a friend calls you a dirt worshipping hippie. Because you aren’t necessarily a hippie, but you hate shoes and love being in nature and it’s wonderful.
Every year gets better. Every year I find more to appreciate and rejoice in. It has become easier to shrug off the little annoyances that used to get under my skin. Empathy for others has become a prominent part of my life. Understanding that we are all unique and finding delight in that.
At 42 years in I can wake up and find the small things that make life beautiful. As I get older I fall a little more in love with life.
Embrace it. Find your peace and your passion. Savor the little moments that make life.