It’s Time to Remember Who You Are
Similarly to most children, I was repeatedly told that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. Children are viewed as having endless potential. We encourage them to explore and create. Children paint blue tigers and red elephants because they like the idea of there being blue tigers and red elephants. Imagination is their reality. They view life like a curious adventure waiting to be explored. For a brief few years, they share with us their visions, ideas, and creations. Whether they make sense to us or not, it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t take long, though, before some older kid or teacher informs them of the “correct” colors for tigers and elephants.
It’s this moment that reality begins to creep into their minds like a shadow. Reality is what separates children from the rest of us. Reality dims hopes and dulls color. We arrange our reality into limitations that we drape over children like blankets. We believe we’re protecting them. But are we really?
As we grow older the world gets smaller.
We can no longer be whatever we want because we have been shaped and molded into others’ expectations. Our family, our friends, our schools, our work, our society as a whole has molded us in their image. Too fat, too thin, you’re weird, college is all that matters, that’s not realistic, you can’t, give up, that’s dumb, the list goes on.
There are more options than the ones presented to us. Remember who you are. Have you forgotten that you once had curiosities that delighted you? Those same curiosities are later swatted down and we’re told “this is just the way it is.”
I’m here to remind you that just because this is the way it “is”, does not mean this is the way it needs to stay. I know this because we, a species, are not stagnant. We wouldn’t have legs if our purpose is to stay in one place. We wouldn’t have traveled across the globe because we were curious about what was on the other side.
Why not choose now to remember
How much of your life has been your choice so far? How much of what you’ve accomplished in your life was due to making someone else happy? Does it make you happy?
Take a moment to sit with that thought. How much of your life have you chosen?
There are countless ways to change your life for the better. Ways that will exceed your adult imagination. The world is here to delight you if you’ll let it. Your only limitation is yourself. “Reality” is not the reason behind your self-doubts. You are. The impressions imprinted on you by others is the cause of your self-doubts. Remember who you are.
Free yourself. Free yourself from living up to others’ expectations. Listen to your own voice, the quiet one in the back of your mind. The voice of youth and wonder. The child you once were who thought the world would be cool if there were blue tigers and red elephants.
What you can do
Rediscover your curiosities and follow them. That’s it. That’s the first step. Go on a curious adventure and see where it takes you. Whenever you hear the doubts creep back in, take a moment to sit with it. Instead of listening to it and abandoning your path, wonder about it. Try and travel back in your mind to the source of the doubt.
Odds are that someone, somewhere, at some point placed that thought in your head. Someone decided that you can’t. I am telling you that you can. You're allowed to live a life that you haven’t even dreamed of. You can live a life of curious adventures. It’s possible to live a life that fulfills and inspires you.
You are allowed. You can. Ask any child and they will tell you that you can still be anything you want to be. You just have to remember who you are.