Malleability is something I’ve learned to appreciate in young adulthood. As an adolescent, I did not realize how many shifts in perspective lay ahead of me–I thought my formative years were coming to an end. I remember thinking that my core personality was already formed, and I was liking the idea of being an official adult and my subsequent logic that I was now to be a static individual with my values defined and my core self fully fleshed out.
I’m so glad that is just not true.
I’m growing everyday, and I don’t want to stop growing. I’ve changed what I believe in and shifted my point of view as I have gained more experience. It is quite liberating to admit that I have been wrong in the past! I can let those parts of me go and move on. As I let go of my old definitions, I am creating a new identity.
In the past, I have felt like I had to “stay true to myself” or not shift my course to maintain a sense of cohesiveness in my life. I once listened to a local motivational speaker who gave a very powerful presentation. He drew a long, horizontal straight line on a chalk board as a depiction of the course of life. He went on to say that there are so many things that happen on the timeline of one’s life. In adulthood and old age, we want to be able to look back and be aligned with our childlike selves–which he attributed as being the true, unadulterated version of oneself. It insinuated that one is born with an identity, and the value of aligning oneself to that, as a type of inner compass.
The message has beauty–it has meant so much to me for such a long time. But, life is no straight line. I don’t want to take advice from a younger version of myself. I don’t want to realign myself back to who I used to be. I don’t want to be a certain way, because of what I used to want. I don’t my life to be restrained from revolution or metamorphosis. I want to change, and I will change as I get older. I may not recognize who I am today, five years from now. I have possibility and my future is wide open. I may have an idea, but I don’t know where I will necessarily be as a person.
I love this so much is because it gives me hope. The best is yet to be. The worst, too. I want life to surprise me. I want to impress myself. I do not want to get stuck in my ways, or become bitter and stagnant. I am not here to sit still.
I relearn it again and again. I love life.My formative years are not at an end, and I hope they never are. I love the experience each day brings me, and I see my time as a wealth. I am grateful to look back and feel renewed. I am grateful to look forward to an unknowable adventure.
Happy New Years 2016 everyone! Thanks for reading.
Photography Credit: Rachel Alexandria