One of my hobbies is reading personal development books. This started up roughly two years ago when I awoke to a new stage in my life. I don’t have terribly good terminology for it, but basically I had just been going through life and that’s when I decided to do a little more to direct it. It actually started a little bit before then and the whole story has to do with a crush and getting off the pill, but that part will have to wait for another time. 🙂
It’s been quite an intense internal journey, and frankly on the surface of my life, it doesn’t look like much has changed. But eventually my outer reality will become in sync with my inner one, it’s just I have a lot of work to do on myself, and it gets tiring.
The first step, however, is a commitment to the truth. To really look at myself and my life and be honest with where I’m going. I often attribute my teenage/early adulthood fascination with fantasy books to the fact that is was more fun, and certainly more exciting, to read those stories than think about my own life. In fact, the only way I got to the point of even liking myself was to change my physical attributes as much as possible without surgery. I dyed my hair, wore contact lenses and make-up, and yes, I am a fan of the push-up bra. And if I had been rich, you better believe I would have had a nose job years ago.
It was great in my 20s to get dolled up and go to the goth clubs. I loved, and still love, dressing up, noir style or no. And my life has definitely improved over the years. I met my husband here, and I’ve made friends here, and now I find myself a mother expecting her second child. But the days pass away if you’re not paying attention and that’s how I found myself here. If I had to rate my life, I would probably rate it a 7 overall. And that’s the problem, a big problem.
I’m a big fan of Steve Pavlina, and he has an interesting article about the 7 phenomenon. That 7 is a local maximum, and actually is some ways worse than a 1. Because a 1 you know is bad. A 7 means you’re settling because you don’t think you can hit the 10. From 1, you can only go up. From 7, you will probably have to go down before you can hit a 10.
I think frankly, most people live in 7-land. The good-enough job, the good-enough spouse, the good-enough friends. And you watch some tv or surf the internet or read romance novels to remember what joy and enthusiasm was. Or even strong emotion. I used to love horror movies for the emotional roller coaster of it, I felt alive. Why do we need this? Because we usually don’t feel alive.
So I’ve been looking at my life, and it seems like every single aspect of it needs work. None of it is a 10. No, that’s not true. I rate Rowan in my life as a 10. I’m still learning to be a parent and I get annoyed and mad sometimes, but I do my best to be straight with her, there if I can be, and I can’t wait to see the adult she will become. So I have one 10.
It’s hard to be that truthful. I am still learning to truly accept that my life is 100% my responsibility. That the things that come into my life are in resonance with me, and if I don’t like it, I am the only one who can change it. No one can change it for me. Not my parents, not my spouse, not my friends.
Sometimes I’m actually okay with it. Sometimes I get flashes of what my life could be. Perhaps that is the puzzle of life, to figure it out, even if it takes a lifetime. Sometimes I look at all the people that have been in my life, and how I’ve changed from their influence. I wonder at the people in my life now, and what we’re supposed to be teaching each other. Like Rowan, why is she here? Why am I her mother? Some days I am just in awe of her, and how beautiful she is, even at five. I wish my drawing and painting skills could do her justice, I would love to do a portrait of her.
I also wonder what is my value? What can I provide that would make this world better? Part of the reason to work on myself and my life is to better be able to reach out and do some good. When I was depressed, I needed help, I had to take. Being centered, having my life together, means I can give. I believe it’s worth it, it just might take awhile.