This post may sound a little ‘self help’ and preachy, but my parents just sent me the most incredibly thoughtful greeting card, and it got me thinking. On the front is a little yellow bird, sitting on top of a teapot, with one of the best quotes I’ve ever read beneath it:
‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve spent most of my life having no idea who I want to be. I remember being asked this question in grade 2 at primary school, and couldn’t believe at the time we were being asked to make such a formative decision. It seemed so final. But my parents aren’t even here to consult with, I thought, as I fretted watching my classmates scribbling away with their coloured pencils and crayons. I felt paralysed, with my entire future dangling before me, dependant on this finite decision.
I think this fear of commitment has continued to plague me. What if I get locked into this one thing forever? is a common concern of mine. I realised the other day that I’m not satisfied with living just one life. I want to see, be, and experience everything the world has to offer. That’s why I’m constantly jumping around, taking part in one lifestyle, before following another dream and moving onto the next.
But am I lacking substance? Am I missing out on the experiences and relationships that take time to create?
I want to find out, which is why I’ve decided to stay put for a while. I finally knew where I wanted to be so I moved here. I knew exactly what sort of house I was looking for, and the kind of people I wanted to live with, so I found them. I knew the job and the exact store I hoped to work at, so I start tomorrow. Did I manifest it, or did I just work hard to get it? Should we expect things to happen just because we want them to, because we decide they should? I don’t think so. But if you work towards what you want to happen or who you want to be, it’s got a much greater chance of happening.
Back in that classroom in grade 2, I decided I wanted to be a magician. Not a bad choice at the time, without the modern day considerations of work/life balance, financial constraints, career progression, working conditions, holidays and sick leave, pensions or health insurance. Maybe we should be making these decisions when we’re 7 years old, before our minds get clouded and jumbled with too many conflicting ideas.
So what did the 32-year-old Rozanne decide she wanted to be? An active person sharing her passion for the outdoors, while living in the most beautiful city in the world.
Sure I’m earning minimum wage working part-time in the third most expensive city on earth. But like the 7-year-old me, I’m not thinking about my future career path. It’s what I want to do now, and unlike that paralysed schoolgirl in grade 2, I’m no longer scared of my future decisions being forever. If you can’t be the person you decide to be today, then who are you destined to become?