Isn’t it amazing how as people we’re always evolving, growing, learning, changing, unchanging? But isn’t the hardest bit about all this, the unlearning bit? To unlearn everything that’s been etched into your brain.
For me, this unlearning process, this process to constantly restart, has been the most challenging. As a woman (and I only speak about women because thats what I am. No offense to my brawny counterparts), I believe we’re constantly beginning from scratch. I’ll use my own life as an example. Many events changed me, sure. But they also left me beginning the rest of my life, anew.
I think a variety of factors change us, as women. For me, my most significant life events can be classified under broader categories such as friendship, family, international moves or leaving home, job searches and changes, marriage and motherhood. I’m guessing most have had to adjust to these facets of life.
For me, each moment has been a teacher, and I’ve had to relearn.
I’ve had to relearn that friendships we make sometimes take more from us than they give.
I’ve had to relearn that friendships evolve sometimes towards you and sometimes far, far away.
I’ve learnt there are limitations to what family can do for you. And to expect is to set yourself up for frustrations. Family can be your safety net, but you can’t constantly keep falling on it. You need to create a safety net of your own. With you yourself being the weaver. Why put that pressure on anyone else, right?
I’ve learnt that leaving home at 18 is probably the best thing that happened to my mind and the worst thing that happened to my ego. Surviving on one’s own isn’t easy, but it’s darn fulfilling. And oh, the people you meet along the way. They teach you things you’ll never learn sitting in the comfort of your own home. And they’ll teach you that you’re tougher than you thought you are. A LOT tougher.
I’ve learnt that moving to a foreign country, not once but many times is good for the soul. There is no greater teacher than travel.
I’ve learnt that marriage is supposed to enrich you but not define you. It’s supposed to be something you do because you WANT to not because you HAVE to.
I’ve learnt that your career will have its ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll feel like ‘I’ve got this!’ and sometimes you’ll question everything you do deep into the late hours of the night. And you’ll have to constantly unlearn and relearn, because stagnancy is the death to creativity. Isn’t it?
And then of course, sometimes you’ll step away and it might be career suicide. But you can bring your career back to life….but only with the expectations and will of a college grad; starting fresh and desperate.
And finally motherhood. Every single day, you’ll unlearn everything you know and learn it all over again…the professors being tiny humans. I’ll never let me kids eat candy. Umm…right. I’ll never yell at my kids. Umm…ok. I’ll never say the wrong things to them. Umm…what? Every night you’ll go to sleep, heart heavy with some guilt or the other regarding your day with the kids. And every single morning you’ll wake up, ready to restart and do the right thing. But you’ll probably fall again, and so on.
So you see what I mean? Every single day, you unlearn and then relearn. And so many moments in your life, you just have to push restart. Not because you might want to, but you have to. And just today you might think, ‘I’ve got this all sorted…I’ll be fine.’ But boom, you’re not. Restart. Relearn.
I guess for me, the important bit is to keep going. I’ve had so many restarts in my life already that I wonder if my engine is overheating. But the key is to keep going. Stop if you see smoke. Let it cool. And then…