I came across this quote while browsing Pinterest the other day (I know, so unusual to find me Pinning!)….
It made me stop and think.
Who do I think I am? Who am I not? When did I decide on that then?
My mum still has my old school reports, all the way back to primary school. It was all A’s & B’s every year for ‘effort’ and ‘attainment’ in the usual subjects, English, Maths, Science, Topic (do you remember ‘topic’ as a subject? Does that still happen?!). So yes, I was good at the academic stuff. Art and PE? Always C’s and a ‘she tries’ type comment. ‘C’ was probably generous, too. My parents and my brother are sporty, all enjoying sport and finding the ones that they’re good at, but not me. So from as far back as I really recall, it’s been in my head that I’m not creative and I’m not athletic.
But, what if I just haven’t found the sport that captures my attention? I ran for a while before having Boo and I found it freeing and enjoyable. Maybe I should get back to that, but then I’m not a runner, right? What if my ‘athleticism’ translates as dancing? I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance. OK, so drawing is never going to be my thing, I am totally hopeless. But that needn’t mean I can’t be creative. Perhaps there is a crafty art out there with my name on it, waiting for me to discover it.
I’m fairly self-aware. I think age and maturity play a big part there, and coming from a people management background, I have had a fair few personality assessments, interviews and analysis thrown my way. I have a good idea of my key strengths and weaknesses. It means I can develop and work harder at areas that I’m not naturally inclined, if and when I need to. For example, patience and attention to detail are not my greatest virtues, but then I sometimes think that knowing that gives me an excuse, and something to hide behind. ‘Oh, I can’t do that, I’m just not patient enough’… but what if I can do it?
So who am I? I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, blogger, and I’m….well, I’m ‘me’. And I’ve made me that ‘me’ over 37 years, through a myriad of experiences. Whilst I’m happy with what I like, what I know, maybe I’ve unnecessarily passed over things.
My parents raised me to believe that I could do anything and be anything that I wanted to be. I’m endeavouring to engender that same belief with my own children. It’s not about self-importance, and it’s certainly not about being unrealistic (I will never be that mum cheering her daughter on on at an X-Factor audition seemingly ignoring the fact that she’s tone deaf!), but why put unnecessary self-limitations on ourselves?
We can be who we want, and if we don’t believe that ourselves, then who will? We box ourselves in, we get stuck in ruts, when there are adventures out there to be taken, big and small. Sometimes that’s actually a nice place to be, comfortable. But when it holds us back and becomes frustrating, it might only be us standing in our own way.Yes, it might be throwing off the shackles and travelling the world, or it might just be reading a book in a genre that I’ve not tried before, wearing a dress when I always wear jeans, because who says I’m ‘not one for wearing dresses’ – only me. So I am me, but I think I’ll have a go at redefining that every once in a while, keeping myself on my toes. Who knows where it might lead?
So tell me, who are you?