You can be whoever you want to be, except of course for Gal Gadot. Really though, it’s up to you who you are. If you want to change your hair, the way you dress, the things you do or don’t do. That is all up to you. The point is, you determine who you are as a person. Not anyone else. Therefore, you cannot be Gal Gadot or anyone else for that matter. If there are things you admire about her, sure you can do her workout routine, eat the foods she does or even wear clothing like hers. No matter how many things like her you adopt into your persona, the fact is, you’ll never be Gal Gadot. There’s only one of her. Just like there is only one you.
For a long time I forgot who I was. I was lost, unsure which way to go to get back to where I started. Sort of like Alzheimer’s. It’s not like I woke up one day and completely forgot my identity. It happened slowly over time. Of course I knew my name, where I lived and the date, but the things that truly made me, me I was fuzzy on those details. In some ways it reminds me of the movie Polar Express. I don’t want to leave anyone behind here, so for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s an animated children’s Christmas movie. In the movie, those that believe in the spirit of Christmas, Santa, can hear the bells ringing. Those that don’t believe no longer hear the bells. They must think the bell is broken and flippantly discard it. For me, this is similar to me remembering and believing in myself. I no longer heard the bell. Had I dismissed and discarded myself? As I dig deep, I slowly started to hear the jingle of the bell. The bell of remembrance began to get louder until I could no longer ignore it. When I heard it, I was somewhat dumbfounded that I ever lost the ability to recognize it.
Have you ever felt this way? When did you realize you had forgotten who you were and that your dreams weren’t going to come true? Have you ever told your kids that they can be anything they want to be? Obviously, I’m not taking about the dreams of becoming Batman or having laser vision. I’m talking about the ones grounded in reality. The dreams of one day becoming a scientist, a leader, or an artist. Did you really believe they could? Or did you figure life would limit their options and dwindle those dreams down just like it had yours? I know I did. I pray my kids didn’t sense my doubt.
I have come to believe it’s the little things that compound that make you forget who you are and what you want to do. It’s the failures, the mistakes, and the crappy stuff that happens in life. The things that put you in survival mode. But really it isn’t those things because all of the bad things can be valuable lessons, if you allow them to. If you are able to step back away from the blame and self pity, the why me and can see the good in the situation. To be thankful for the lesson, no matter how painful. This allows you to grow, rather than becoming stuck where you are. Believe me, I’ve been stuck many times before. Stuck for such a significant amount of time that I lost sight of who I was and began to believe the thoughts worming their way through my head.
The thoughts of self-doubt, the feeling that I wasn’t capable or good enough. I listened to these for so long that I began to believe these negative thoughts. Once I believed them, they became my identity. That is how I saw myself and how I lived my life. When you adopt those thoughts as truth, there isn’t room for the other pieces of you. No room for the hopes and dreams. They become irrational because those things (who life beats you down to be versus who you wanted to be when you were a kid) contradict each other. For example, I love to write, but if I believe I’m not good at writing and that I’d never write anything worth reading, then why would I even try? It wouldn’t be worth the effort. I’ll never be a J.K. Rowling so I might as well save myself the pain of failure and not even waste my time writing to begin with. Have ever done something similar? Given up before you tried because you just knew that failure was inevitable? I know now just how wrong I was.
I started asking myself what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I honestly had no idea. Who was I? I think if you loose sight of this, you lose hope that you can actually be who you want to be and do what you want to. You lose hope and trust in yourself. As an adult, I didn’t do much that I enjoyed. I did a lot of things for others be because I loved them and wanted them to be happy. But quite honestly, I couldn’t name a single thing that I did just because I wanted to. To figure it all out, I had to venture back to the younger me. The me before all the bad things in life happened, to remember what I enjoyed doing. What did fifth, seventh, and eleventh grade me like to do? What did I dream of becoming? When I did that, I realized what I had consistently dreamed of. It’s what stuck. Having this realization, I became unstuck.
My dream, is to write and in doing so to change the world. The reality is, I was correct about something before. I would never be J.K. Rowling, Stephen King or Rachel Hollis. But what I failed to recognize was that I didn’t have to be a notable author to write. In fact, I didn’t even have to be good to enjoy it. I certainly didn’t have to do it full-time as a career or make any money doing it. If you enjoy it, that is the reward and anything above that it icing on the cake. So here I am, writing something someone may never read. I hope you do and that you gain some insight about your life in doing so. I had serious doubts when others said that they felt a joyous fire in their soul when they did something they enjoyed. I believed it was just something one said. But now, I know that that soul on fire feeling is real.
If you’re lost and don’t know what you enjoy or who you want to become. You have to figure it out. Drop all the excuses. You’re not too old, inexperienced or not good enough. You are all of those things and more. The joy you’ll experience from doing what you love is real. The feeling is butterflies in your heart. It’s peaceful and liberating. You’ll learn to trust in yourself and believe that you can do and become anything you want.
Best of luck friends.
~It’s The Gin Talking