This post was written for inclusion in the I Love Me! Carnival hosted by Amy at Anktangle. This carnival is all about love of self, challenging you to lift yourself up, just for being you.
Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from the other carnival participants.
In the 30-plus years I've enjoyed of this life, I have changed a lot. The most rapid and significant of those changes have taken place over the last ten years. The pace at which I have grown and changed this last decade has been uncomfortable for some people. Even your father, who embraces growth and change as much as I do, sometimes has a hard time keeping up.
Someone who is no longer a part of my life was the first to make me question this trait of mine. He told me that he didn't like how much I'd changed in the years that he'd known me. I was 26 at the time. I was bewildered by his statement. Of course I'd changed. I was 20 years old when he'd met me, just barely an adult, with hardly a clue of who I really was or what really mattered to me. I mean, I thought I knew exactly who I was and what mattered to me, but what I came to find out is that the more I learned, and the more experiences I immersed myself in, the better I got to know myself. And yes, sometimes this resulted in what may have seemed like drastic changes, but those changes felt natural to me. After all, if what I learned about the food industry and the way it treats animals didn't cause me to change my eating habits, then what was the point of learning about it? I'm not the type who can learn new information, discover that I have a strong feelings about it, and then fail to make changes to my life when there are aspects of it that directly conflict with those feelings.
Around that same time in my life, I was discussing this with a friend who said to me:
"You just move fast is all. Or maybe not fast, but you seem to always want to feel like you're moving somewhere."He was absolutely right. I'm not content to rest on my laurels. I am constantly learning, growing, and changing. I started to question whether that was an undesirable trait in a person, whether it was personal flaw that I should work at overcoming. What I found is that I simply can't help it. I can't help but to incorporate new experiences and information into who I am, and who I will be going forward. Sure, it means that I change hobbies as often as some people change underwear (as evidenced by the baskets and bins of various craft hobbies, the array of musical instruments, and the vast array of books in our home). It means that I sometimes make what look like hasty decisions, like quitting my well-paying, full-time, full-benefits job to go back to school. It means that sometimes your father is left scratching head, wondering where the bleach went, because I forgot to tell him that we're cleaning with vinegar and baking soda now. It means that I will change how I eat, how I live, and even how I raise you, as I learn more and as my values evolve.
I am constantly evolving. I value not only learning, but acting on what I learn. I'm glad I'm not the same person at 32 that I was at 22, and I hope that I'm not the same person at 42 that I am today. I change. A lot. I always want to feel like I'm moving somewhere. Toward something. Toward the me that I meant to be. The me that I love.
Thank you for reading this post from the I Love Me! Carnival. Please take some time to read the contributions from the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by the afternoon of October 28th with all the carnival links.)