I’ve recently discovered that the unfortunate precursor to self-actualization is self-exploration. What a chore. You have to do “the work” before you get “there”, they say (insert eye roll emoji). So in my very new age quest for self-actualization, I’ve been getting to know myself (insert my Dad’s eye roll emoji). Here, I present Part One in the series On Learning to Be.
In my day job, I’m very interested in predicting personalities and finding tools that will allow me to understand how people work, interact and handle everyday situations. I’ve recently done some of these personality indicators for myself and as it turns out the damn things are eerily accurate.
“Jodi is almost exclusively concerned with where she’s going rather than either how she’ll get there or where she’s been.” The thing actually said that. Imagine!
I’ve recently been assigned the task by more than one person in my life to learn to relax and accept myself as I am. To learn to just be. To not have to be going anywhere.
I live in the future. Always striving and working and waiting for the reward. Waiting to finish school, get the job, have the babies, the new house, the promotion, the renovations, the seat on the board, the medal, the weight bracket, the title, the recognition. Telling myself when this happens, then that will happen. Work, wait. Wait, work. Always looking ahead. Should-ing and planning myself into experiencing nothing. When the goal is the reward, every moment slips through your fingers.
I’ve spent half my life with my best friend, sharing many of the same moments and experiences in our time together. She can pull out a 20 year old memory of going to a football game or a movie or a bar and tell me what I was wearing and what I said and what she said and the look on his face when I said it and what we ate and how we got there and who we were with and what we did after. She experienced ever piece of it. I can’t remember. I wasn’t paying attention.
I know for certain though that I was 21 years old five minutes ago. I’m sitting on the floor in my bathrobe (that I still have) in front of the mirror straightening my hair. I just dyed it black. I can feel the carpet under my feet. I can see the fall leaves through the basement window of the apartment. I just made guacamole for the first time for my Spanish class potluck. I hear the sound of the shower with the steam filling up the living room. We’re going to the Mexican restaurant to fill our bellies with chimichangas and sangria because it’s my birthday. But, no. That was nearly 15 birthdays ago.
I finished university.
I got the internship.
I got the job.
I lost the boyfriend. I got the boyfriend. I lost the boyfriend. I got the boyfriend. I lost the boyfriend.
I made the friend.
I finished college.
I got the job.
I got the man.
I got the little boy.
I got the home.
I got the nursery
I got the baby girl.
I got the new kitchen.
I got another baby girl.
I got to be thirty-something.
You too, right? Well, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.