This is the first time in a long time that I have had complete silence. The last two years have been spent with my head buzzing around, thoughts keeping me up, relentless questions in need of answers and life demands constantly barking to be met. My mind has been engaged with worry, self-doubt, endless questioning and a strong desire to figure out what is Rose really all about.
Two weeks ago I turned 35, I was so excited. This is a significant win for me. I used to dread growing older because it was constantly a sign of what seemed like another year of a general lack of achievement. For years I have constantly taken on new careers; a copywriter, a journalist, a PR consultant, content writer the list continues. Every time I made the switch I thought this was it! This was the career. But after an initial rush and drive and phenomenal experiences followed by awful ones, quickly washed away by even better experiences; the roller coaster ride would be done and I would need to look for the next thing. Mostly because the jobs weren’t paying great and more so, it just didn’t give me a reason to wake up in the morning.
The reality of adulthood is bills, bills you can’t run away from, and the new responsibilities you take on. Whether it’s a mortgage, getting a Master’s degree, starting a family; there are social constructs that define what a successful adult should do. This serves as a guide to our paths. But ideally shouldn’t define us.
This year, I opened up my huge storage box with all the journals I have had over the past 6 years. I decided to go back two years to 2017, to remind myself where I was then, and I came across some notes I had written from a book I was reading at the time; Road Trip. In 2017, I was preaching the gospel of that book which opened my eyes to a concept called self-construction.
The book likens it to being in the Beta stage of a computer programme. In the Beta stage, the software is in use by a few, whose experience and feedback helps to improve the programme. The improved programme is then rolled out for broader consumption. The developers are still keen to understand and pay attention to the evolving needs of the users and keep improving it throughout its lifetime.
Like that computer programme, we are all in the Beta phase. Life is no longer a series of steps that you take and boxes that you check off. Life is about growth based on understanding ourselves better and ensuring we continue to be a better version of ourselves.
This at times feels like a very lofty statement when you have bills to pay and there is nothing forthcoming. Or you have money, but the process of making it steals your sanity and time to invest in yourself to be the better version of yourself. I know this all too well.
But I have also learnt, that building a better version of myself doesn’t mean stopping everything that I am doing and shifting to something else. At times it starts with just being aware that I need to consciously invest in myself, which could mean taking 1 hour a day to research and find what interests you.
Giving 3 hours of your weekend to try that thing you have always wanted to do. I get it now. And I am not as hard on myself now and I was then. I remind myself to never be comfortable with where I am. I will give my 200 per cent, but I won’t let what I do during my work day, eat into my evening or weekend.
At times investing in yourself, and keeping it all alive is as simple as refusing to work out of your allocated time. And that’s where I am, I am forcing myself to be quiet; quiet in my mind, quiet in my surroundings and face myself and my truth. Being honest with myself was initially hard, but as I have made it a part of my life to be honest with myself and have friends who are honest with me. I find it refreshing and reassuring when I find myself in similar moments and realise how much growth I have made in just 2 years.
Life isn’t made to be easy, because that’s what really adds to the flavour of it all. As I start this new week of a new month, I write this to remind myself, that it’s all about one conscious moment at a time that will take me to where I need to be.
I am blessed to live to see 35, not just because of what I have been able to accomplish, but because it gives me another chance to explore the beauty and opportunities that are ahead of me. Here’s to another great year! Happy Birthday to ME!!!