Live, Play, Shoot, Travel

2016 and the Fine Art of Forgetting

January 12, 2016

Happy New Year, folks! I realize that I am a few weeks late to the whole annual wrap up / let’s look forward party but better late than never, right?

I’ve never been one to make resolutions. I don’t believe there is any grand significance in the flipping of a calendar year and we all know that those promises to save money/lose weight/write that novel beginning on New Years Day rarely ever stick. I feel like if you want to change your life, you should probably start it now (right now!) regardless of whether it’s January 1st or June 1st or October 19th.

But while I’m not a fan of resolutions, I do like to look at a new year as a chance to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going. And sometimes I like to come up with a theme – something I’m going to work on or keep in mind in the coming months. It’s never a hard and fast goal (I make those all year long … and have a long list that I’m hammering away at as we speak) but rather an idea that I want to hang onto and use to guide my decisions and reactions to life. A theme is widespread and can creep into all aspects of life. And that’s why I like it.

My theme for this year is to forget everything I know about myself.

Wait! Hold up. HUH??

Let me explain.

I think I know myself pretty well. I’ve been living with this body and this brain for thirty-six years now and in that time I’ve learned a lot about my personality. I “know” what I like. I “know” how I enjoy spending my time. I “know” that I’m shamelessly introverted and need massive amounts of alone time. I “know” the kind of projects I like to work on – the kind of writing and photography that I think are my thing.

But I want to step back from all of that – because maybe I don’t know myself as well as I think I do.

Whether we realized it or not we spend years and years cultivating our personalities and curating our personas. As time goes by we get valuable insights into what makes us tick and what makes our hearts sing. And while this is a good thing, it can also be extremely limiting because if something falls outside of that self-imposed definition of who we are and what we do, we may be less likely to jump on the opportunity.

Which is why I’m trying to forget.

So this year, rather than turning down adventures and work activities because I think they’re not “what I do”, I’m going to embrace them. I’m going to try new things – things that fall way outside my traditional definition of what makes this old girl tick. I’m going to try to forget who I am so that maybe I can learn a little. I’m going to get myself and my ego out of my own damn way. I’m going to say yes to things when my reaction would normally be “oh hell no!”. I’m going to be open.

And I encourage you to do the same. Because maybe we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do.

Do you have resolutions or goals for the New Year? I’d love to hear them! 

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