On being the person you want to be

It was recently my birthday — well, within the last few weeks, which counts as recent with how little I’ve been writing here lately;) — and with my birthday comes a years-long ritual.

 

(no, the ritual has nothing to do with eating huckleberries, though that is a definitely Pacific Northwest summer ritual too;)

 

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that the turning of a new calendar year doesn’t mean much to me, nor do new years’ resolutions. But in a particularly stasia-centric view of the universe and time, I do translate some typically-new-yearsy things to my birthday: a chance to take stock of where I am, how far I’ve come, where I want to be.

Most years, I start with a look back at what I wrote in my journal on my birthday the year before. Last year, much like this one, I’d done some typical stasia things: gone for a long morning run, done some work for my Mt Tabor job, tackled some prep work for the backpacking trip I was about to take with some of the kids from my other job. I also mentioned that I’d been working and wanted to continue working on “being the stasia I want to be” — that is, of trying to make every decision an intentional one, seen through the lens of “what would the kind of person I want to be do in this instance?”

 

(definitely the person I want to be has more of this in my life. Sunset at McNeil Point)

 

I focus mostly on bike-related things here, and biking is, of course, a big part of being the person I want to be. It allows me to be present to the world and my surroundings in a way I want, to see and feel the seasons in a way I want, to use my muscles in the way I want, to be connected to community, to feel strong and healthy and unstoppable. But more than that, it helps me be resilient. It helps me remember that momentary discomfort (like, say, jumping on my bike in a downpour) is every time vastly outweighed by what I get out of an experience as a whole. It helps me think about what really matters. (Ha! The best way to decide whether an errand is worth running or an event worth going to is whether or not I am willing to bike to it. If I’m not, it’s probably not that important.) It helps me be in the world and touched by the world, rather than skating unfazed over its surface.

I’d forgotten, over the course of the last 365(ish) days, that I’d set that specific intention, but the mantra has still stuck with me, and I still use the “what would the person I want to be” test as often as I can. It’s helped me through some particularly rough times this last year, and it helps me remember that I’m the one driving my life. If I don’t like something, it’s up to me to change it.

 

(and sometimes, changing the scenery is exactly the catalyst I need)

 

This year, I continue the trend. The hardest thing, I think, is figuring out who I want to be amidst a sea of advertising and media, not to mention loved ones, family, friends, and the like telling me, explicitly or not, who they want me to think I want to be. But that’s the good work of this life, figuring out the best version of yourself, and how that best version of yourself can bring your best gifts to the rest of the world.

That’s the plan for this year, too. More being the person I want to be in this world, and helping others be the people they want to be too. And, as always, more and more and more time engaged with the world. Bring it.

 

2 Comments:

  1. Cette quête ne change jamais, malgré l’âge. Mais moi, j’aime la personne que tu es. :-)

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