I bought an ebook that’s supposed to help me figure out what I want to do online. The first exercise in the book asks readers to think about what friends and family would say they’re known for. This has stumped me for about a week now.
I started thinking about the girl I used to be. That girl hardly ever swore, not because she was a goody two shoes who refrained from swearing to act superior to others, but because she didn’t feel the need for it. My parents didn’t swear (they still don’t), and they didn’t allow swearing in the house so it never became my regular way to express anger or frustration (I was a brat so I would slam my door if I was angry!). I was the girl who would say frig once in a blue moon and have people look at me in shock, and tell me that they had never heard me swear before. I was raised to believe that swearing is impolite and the girl I used to be valued good manners (I still do!). However, I’m not happy that the older I have gotten, the more I swear, especially when frustrated or angry, so I’m cutting swearing out of my life, starting today.
The girl I used to be always tried to make people around her laugh. She also was known as a good listener. I like to think it’s because I wanted to leave people happier for having interacted with me. I still want to, but I feel I’ve become a bit (gasp) self-centred (though to be honest the girl I used to be was a little self-centred too). I’m working harder to make my interactions with others be about them rather than me.
The girl I used to be wanted to be a pediatrician. I’ve mentioned before that this is a dream that didn’t come true but that I’m finding hard to let go of. I don’t actually think I would have made a good doctor because I’m not that fond of blood and guts, all the good stuff that medical school would have exposed me to, but I have this vision that everything in my life would have fallen into place if I had become a doctor (silly and totally untrue, I know). I’d be awesome with regard to bedside manner though, but maybe too much so: I’d take my work home with me every night with regard to getting emotional over patients going through tough situations. I’m still waiting to discover a career that eclipses my doctor dreams.
The girl I used to be read a lot of romance novels, especially those from the Regency period, and developed a great vocabulary and a hopeful attitude regarding finding love as a result. Today, my vocabulary is stagnant, I read more non-fiction books, including how-to books related to finding love, and I don’t think I’ve been any more successful at love than the girl who used to only read romance novels. I feel jaded about love…but a part of the girl I used to be is still in there, somewhere!
The girl I used to be enjoyed gossip…this hasn’t changed! I’m not a malicious gossip (maybe others would say differently?) but at the same time I’m not adding any value to the world by engaging in gossip so I must change this! But how do you tell a former gossiping partner that you no longer gossip without sounding smug? I don’t want to say I’ve decided to no longer gossip because I’m afraid it’ll send a message to the other person that I’m judging their behaviour, behaviour that I’ve been guilty of in the past and no longer want to indulge in when really it’s about a decision I made. I don’t know how to tackle that!
The girl I used to be loved her parents to bits and admired them for their journey to where they are today: still struggling, but better off than when we first landed in Canada. I admired them for their ability to put their children first so completely. I’m glad to say that hasn’t changed! The only change is that I love them more for their sacrifice and unconditional love and support, especially as I wonder if I will be as good a parent one day. Now I want to take care of them, and although I haven’t yet been able to to the capacity I dream of, I know it’ll happen and I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to be there for them in small ways.