I feel I should say something about the meaning of life here, given that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42, or at least it is if you read/watched Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
But that s not what I was going to talk about at all, although I may stray into the esoteric a wee bit. As I was cycling home today I was concocting in my head what I was going to write – its often where I write my best blogs, whilst on my bike, and I was thinking of following up on yesterdays theme of curiosity with that of fearlessness.
What do I mean by that? Well, its not the sort of ‘jump off a cliff with a parachute’ sort of fearless or ‘stare down charging lions’ fearless, I’m talking about the ability to be fearless in your day to day life, to not be afraid of who you really are and to live your life the way you are meant to, rather than according to how society, your friends, your family, your teachers, your scholl/uni/belief system expects you to. I was trying to come up with a way of explaining what I’m talking about, and whilst the computer was loading itself up I popped over to my ipad to read some of my daily blog feeds…and lo and behold, the perfect blog post was right here.
check it out – does any of it ring any bells?
It did for me! I guess like most people I’ve always tried to fit in, do the right thing, do what was expected of me – I went to uni, got good jobs, had a nice sports car, lots of nice things, the steady (unambitious, unadventurous, unspontaneous…), sooooo steady boyfriend that I was probably expected to marry and then probably expected to have kids – but I always ended up being miserable and turning into a little mouse until ‘who I really am’ managed to break out and ‘upset’ the apple cart – travelling around Europe put paid to one steady relationship, heading off to South America, doing the Inca Trail put paid to another one. I studied a subject at University because I liked it rather than because it would get me a job.Changing my entire life, shutting down a company, selling everything and coming to Australia where I didn’t know a single person and in possession of just 1 suitcase of my entire worldly belongings had lots of heads shaking in wonder/horror. Solo trips around the world, heading off to Africa by myself, quitting a paid job to trade the stockmarket (just as the GFC hit!), investing in real estate, creating a magazine, becoming a bodybuilder… I know my father’s dearest wish would have been to walk his only daughter down the aisle and have lots of grandkids – but thats his wish list, not mine.
I think at some level, I’ve always been aware that I don’t quite fit into other peoples boxes – as a kid I didn’t play with dolls, I played football and climbed trees with my brothers. I hated the ‘girls’ games (netball) at school and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to play football – it didn’t seem fair. I didn’t get why I had to give up a phys ed lesson to do needlework and cooking, when I was already proficient at both. I didn’t get why I couldn’t do metalwork and woodwork, but had to do ‘drama’ instead – why? What a pointless waste of my time! But aged 10 I couldn’t verbalise this. It was very obvious what I thought of school though – I was both a truant and an ‘A’ grade student…if I could see something would have relevance to my life I did well in it, if I thought it was pointless, well I wasn’t going to be bothered with it.
Its taken a long time for me to understand and accept who I am and that its ok not to fit into other peoples expectations or categories and from the outside I can understand how it might all look a bit schizophrenic, as I jump from one thing to the next, usually being told at every turn that I’m crazy when I announce the latest harebrained scheme – but its just me being me…I love the fact that I am not afraid to have a go, I don’t worry about what other people think I should be doing or how I should be acting. Sure I might fail and fall flat on my face, but so what – I’m very resilient and besides it would be a hell of a learning opportunity and you know my opinion of learning!
So today I am grateful for the fact that I have learned to embrace my ‘fearlessness’, together with curiosity its led me in some very unexpected directions!