Monday, June 04, 2007

Makeover Monday: clean slate

I remember getting a mini-thrill when I went to college, because nearly nobody from my high school followed me there. While on the one hand it was sad and lonely to start such a huge endeavor with no established relationships, it was also kind of exciting to be surrounded by people who had no preconceived notions of who I was or what I was like. In a lot of ways I got to literally start over.

I've messed up plenty since then, and there are sure days when I'd like to wipe out all my baggage of human-ness, and start afresh. I'm realizing though, that the thrill I got back in college had nothing to do with the people around me, and everything to do with myself.

Us human beings have a super-annoying habit of pigeon-holing people, "categorizing" them.... usually based on their past decisions and actions. It's some sort of futile attempt at defining the world around us as predictable and under-control I suppose. But the fact of the matter is that nobody fits neatly into a category, nobody's behavior can be easily predicted all the time, and everybody is always changing. For better or worse.

So it doesn't really matter if the people around me have come to expect certain behaviors of me. That doesn't have to be baggage, and I certainly don't have to behave a certain way or choose certain things simply because it is expected of me. That would be awfully inhibiting, wouldn't it?

There are only two legitimate reasons for me to make a choice. It is the right thing to do, or it is the sort of thing that will help me become the person I'm striving to become. Hopefully the two reasons are nearly always one and the same. Anything else, any other motivation is suspect.

So WHAT I've been painfully shy since moving to PA? If I have a day when I'm feeling braver than usual, I'm allowing myself a clean-slate. I'll be friendlier on that day.

Because, as Anne Shirley said, "Tomorrow is a brand new day, without any mistakes in it...."


tracy m said...

Em, I so wish you were my neighbor, in real life, not just in the computer world! Your make-over Mondays inspire me- without fail. The best make-over tips ever. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself with us.

hairyshoefairy said...

How true that is.

And I echo Tracy. Can't we all just be neighbors now? That'd make me so happy. I love your make-over tips. You make me want to be better, too.

Deena said...

I felt the same way going to college. It makes sense that we can do it every day. You rock.

kelly said...

i so totally agree! i think everyone has felt the need & desire to just start over. i especially love mondays because i feel like that is the day i can try to do something new, to be a better me.

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