The thing is about growing up, you are consistently evolving. You are shedding the parts of you that no longer look like you. Growing the parts of you that need work. You are evolving into the best version of yourself. That version of you, the best version, will require work, plenty of sacrifices, some awful tears as you work the areas that are hard to get rid of and then some more tears. There too, are beautiful moments, the ones where you turn your dreams into a reality, the times when you challenge yourself and succeed. There are beautiful moments and some not so beautiful. That is life and it is bittersweet, but it is to be lived.
Ever find yourself questioning what your purpose in life is? Wanting to know what your life is intended to impact?
Congratulations. You have taken two of the most important steps of your journey. The first thing you have done is, you decided on what you want. Taking the initial step of decision as to what you want to become is hard. Many people struggle to make the decision, because the mind is filled with so many doubts. You find yourself doubting whether the industry has room for you, doubting whether you will be any good and doubting whether you have what it takes to make it in an already saturated industry. The second thing you have done is taken the step towards learning. There’s nothing more self-depreciating then an unteachable mind. We as human beings are designed to learn, we are designed to continue to grow based off what we learn, both in being and in character. Taking the step towards opting to learn a trade or a skill is done in action. Actively searching out the lessons and taking bold steps towards acquiring the material and access to mentors and teachers. Lucky for you, we live in a digital era, and access to information and teaching material is incredibly simplified, with platforms like YouTube, the time to learn new skills has never been better.
When I was younger, I spent an awful lot of time on the defense. I was constantly with my guard up, always ready to tell anyone who tried to disrespect me to check themselves. I was always feeling attacked and often it was my perception more than the reality of what was happening. I would find myself in an argument every other day, which had me labelled confrontational, which I thought was confidence and self-protection. Interesting enough, it was not so much that there were situations that dished out disrespect that needed to be rectified, but often times it was simply because my perception of much of what was happening around me was always with a critical eye that would try to sieve and smell out anyone who tried to ill-treat me.
You know when one finds themselves looking at their life, we tend to have two sights, forward and backwards. We spend a majority of our time focused on the future and what is to come. Always planning and anxious about where we are going and trying to ensure that we are doing the groundwork to get to where we are going. We spend so much time immersed in the what ifs and little time in the now. We spend equally as much time studying our past and trying to piece together the areas we could have done better, the things we have experienced and the things we wish had been different.
Once bitten, twice shy – has always been a statement that would twirl around in my mind.
This is because it is true.
Growing up, I was the child who wore many hats. I was both an introvert and an extrovert. I was both talkative, yet very withdrawn. I found comfort in spending time alone reading books, discovering worlds I would never travel, by authors I would never meet.
There was a day I came across a lovely little girl. I was visiting with a friend who knew her mother, and immediately took to the precious little girl. In no time she got comfortable and started chatting to me. She was in a headwrap towel, from a hair wash as I learnt from her mother. At some point she got agitated and insisted her mum remove the towel and that her hair dry and they could style it later. I was amazed at the length of her hair and commented on how long it is, and that she looks like a barbie doll. She looks at me with confusions, looked at her doll and goes on to say, “no, I cannot look like a barbie doll, because barbie dolls have long straight hair.”
I have spent much of my life looking into the lives of people I admire. I have always been one who believes in the power of learning and not making mistakes that can be avoided by learning from those that have walked the path before you. I take great pride in seeking and gathering information from people I admire. It is something I tremendously enjoy doing. However, it gave me the false impression that in taking time to learn from people and asking what the things they wish they knew when they were growing up, it would somewhat save me from making mistakes.
Ever look at the world and all you want to do is shoulder the burden of everyone who is hurting. You want to soothe away the pain of others, you want to wipe away the tears of those hurting and you want to be the superhero of a tragic story. When you look at the stats of world hunger it turns your stomach, never mind a picture of a child so food deprived that she stares starvation and death in the eyes. The pain we see in our friends and family, wanting to help, wanting to save and feeling helpless. When that becomes your burden, wanting to make the world lighter, less painful and less deprived. You want to shoulder everyone’s problems, but where to start, apparently the answer is with you.