I’ve been pondering things as I am approaching the big half century mark. (Yeah, I know. A lady never tells, but I’ve never been accused of being ladylike before, so why start now?) I guess I’m trying to figure out who I want to be for the second half of my life. But as I gave this question more serious thought, I came to a realization.
I believe that all of us have essential selves; truths that make us who we are no matter what path our lives take. And when these elements are absent from our lives, that’s when anger, depression and other negative emotions rear their ugly heads.
Now, this isn’t any tried or tested psychological theory, just call it a hunch.
So, as I look at my own life, I have discovered my essential truths and there are four of them.
- I have always been a dancer.
If it was goofing off in the living room, tapping at the local dance studio, studying seriously in college, or learning new styles as an adult, dance has been there. Through dance, I can express myself, work out frustrations, or tell silly or sad stories. When dance isn’t some component of my life, there is a deep emptiness that nothing else satisfies.
2. I have always been a teacher.
I remember during the summer of my fifth grade year, I set up a classroom in my neighbor’s garage and taught math to the other kids. I had desks and workbooks. I even signed homework. I did cross-age tutoring in junior high, helped out in math classes in high school, and eventually went on to become a teacher. I believe knowledge is not something to be horded; it’s a gift meant to be shared with all.
3. I have always been a Disney kid.
Growing up in Southern California, I was blessed to spend summers and Christmases at the Happiest Place on Earth. To this day, I love my mental health days at the Mouse House. A proud owner of an Annual Passport, I enjoy at least one day a month with my hubby, my family and anyone else who wants an escape from the real world.
4. I have always been a writer.
Whether it was poems in elementary school, journaling dreams, writing for the school newspaper, or jotting down strange stories about Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids, words have been there. Tales of love and laughter, yarns of grief and gladness. Every moment I scratch out to write helps keep me sane.
Knowing these parts of who I am, believing in the power of my essentials truths fills me with a great sense of purpose.
Can’t wait to see what the next fifty years have in store for me.