Back before the world told you that you had to be that size or this size. That you should wear these articles of clothing but never those. That you need to do this or that in order to live a better life.
Who were you?
What was your story?
Are you still in touch with the person you use to be?
Some of the changes we go through during life are good changes. When the world tells you that you should eat healthy and exercise, that’s a good thing. When the world tells you that you should be a certain size, even if your body type will never allow you to be such a size, that’s not a good thing.
Can you remember a time when you did exactly what you wanted? When you didn’t have a care in the world? When you just lived?
In a world full of a hundred different opinions, who were you before all that? Were the changes you made positive ones that you made for your own well being? Or did you make changes because the world pressured you into doing so? Do you long for the days when you were a carefree child? Do you enjoy the freedom that comes with being an adult? Have you been able to hold onto who you are throughout the years?
There are some parts of my personality that I refuse to ever let go of. Pocahontas will always be my favorite movie (with Mulan and Two Bits & Pepper tied for 2nd place) and I will continue to listen to Christmas music year round. I prefer to be in jeans and a tank top any day of the week. I live in flip flops and boots, but would rather go barefoot. I think animals are one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. I’ve never seen a sunset that didn’t make me smile. I aim to be a morning person but get my best work done at night.
But who else was I? Before the world told me I had to make a living doing something practical that could support me, who was I? Am I still that person?
I was a writer. I still am some days. That’s part of the reason I took up blogging once more. In the core of my soul, I know that I am a writer. I want to share my thoughts with other people. I want to share my feelings. I want to share my voice. If you would have asked me ten years ago where I would be right now, I would have told you that I would be working for a newspaper or an online magazine. I would be working somewhere where I was able to write every single day and make a good living off of writing. I gave up writing for a while. The ideas kept swirling around my head but failed to make it to paper or screen. I couldn’t figure out how to string a series of words together to make a sentence. Pieces wrote themselves in my head, but failed to leave my mind. Did I lose focus along the way? Did I fall off course? Did I give up on what I wanted? Debatable – I’m not unhappy in life and I know that I could change my career course if I chose to. I think about it some days. I’ve submitted various pieces of writing to online magazines. Maybe I’ll hear back from one of them. Maybe I’ll apply to the local newspaper. Maybe I’ll keep blogging and living on my own time schedule for when I post things with no deadline – that way I only post things that I’m proud of. Maybe I’ll turn blogging into a living one day. Maybe I’ll keep it as a hobby. As long as I never walk away from writing again, I’ll be fine.
I was a panda lover. I still am. I dreamed of moving to China for a few years to study pandas and help them escape extinction. They recently got taken off the endangered species list and I cheered, but at the same time, my heart ached knowing that I had given up my childhood dream and done nothing to help them. Did I lose that dream? Perhaps, but I feel it’s grown and developed over the years. While I still think it would be cool to move to China and study pandas, my dreams have shifted focus. There’s so many animals that need help. Eventually, I think I would like to open a shelter or rescue. I would love to spend my days helping animals in need and nursing them back to health. I want to find the best possible homes for them. In the meantime, I spend my days loving on my dogs and knowing that I’m giving them a great life. They will always have a safe place to live and food and somewhere to sleep.
I was a stubborn individual. I still am. But I’ve learned to pick and choose what I put my stubbornness into. I learned that my stubbornness seeped into all other aspects of my personality. I cared too much about everything, refusing to ever give up. I kept people around longer than I should have, refusing to quit. I put everyone else before myself, refusing to take time to care for my own well being. I carry my stubbornness with me every single day, but now I use it in a different way. I refuse to quit going to the gym, knowing it is good for me. I refuse to put up with other people’s drama, knowing it is unhealthy. I refuse to spend my days being negative, knowing I can’t be the cause of anyone else’s pain.
Some of the changes we make are good ones. Some of them are the result of growing up and learning. If you can still remember who you were and don’t feel like you’ve lost yourself along the way, that’s all that’s important.
Can you remember?