How are you all? 🙂
The last few weeks have been crazy but exciting for me – I went on a solo trip to the freezing cold Russia in mid-January; came back, took my cousin around Copenhagen and had a long over-due catch up on life. I’ve had the chance to talk to so many interesting people lately – long and fruitful talks about my outlook on life, culture, self-discovery, religion, politics; but also on ridiculous jokes, borderline politically incorrect (but hilarious) discussions about stereotypes, countless memes and excessive tagging, you name it.
Relationships and communication with people around really depend on a wide range of things. Some talks you have with people involve a common hobby, some involve similar moral values. Some involves mandatory disagreement or even arguments on who is stating the truth, who’s holding on to blind faith. Some you do over beer and fries, some you do over caffeine and pastries.
The thing is, conversations and what you tell people (the ones that begin with ‘I think..’ & ‘Usually I’) are what you also use to define yourself. The more talks you have over a certain topic, the longer you stay on a certain layer – don’t get me wrong, I love surface talks about makeup brushes and face masks just as much as I love talking about how ridiculous politics is like in my home country.
What I think is the most important is that you never stick to only one layer, and you allow yourself to be fluid in how many layers you can shift between now and then.
The path you take and your ‘self’ are ultimately linked, but putting your ‘self’ solely on the one apparent path you’re currently embarking on is very risky.
I think we would all agree on the fact that where you put your time in is where your life grows – you put your time in learning Spanish, and ultimately you’ll get yourself closer in life to the language and perhaps the actual country too); you put your time exercising and eating well, you get a healthy body and a nice structured routine you might hope to maintain for your wellbeing. You name it. Even more specific & consciously speaking, you put your time into getting a law degree, then of course becoming a lawyer will be what you’re aiming for & what you hopefully will become.
The people you surround yourself with will affect how much time you invest in going after a path. Want to learn Spanish? Meet Spanish-speaking individuals who know the culture well, and you’ll learn even more than what you expected. Want to eat well and exercise regularly? Join a community with likeminded people that motivate you into having a routine and gradually you might become passionate in advocating a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s the thing – what happens when you became your sole hobby?
What happens if one day I lose this layer that I’ve been holding on to?
OK – back to the Espangol example – now that I know all about Spain and I’ve even been there – do I call myself an expert in Spanish? What does it mean when people come up to me and start talking to me in a language that’s not my mother tongue?
Now that I know so much about counting macro nutrients and all the work-out routines for every body type you can possibly think of – is it even possible to like food that’s not healthy, and what if I want to tell people I SIMPLY don’t feel like going to the gym?
Who is there to understand me when I want to express the part of me that’s simply not what I’m known for?
The feeling when you just don’t want to be known as ‘that person who’ anymore. I think the moment you try and convince yourself that, ‘this is just temporary’, is exactly when you should immediately do some serious talk with yourself.
What I’m trying to say is, becoming too focused on one passion or profession has a risky consequence: you start to lack opportunities on other areas of self-growth. Sticking with like-minded people who are holding onto one layer means the other layers of self will begin to degenerate.
This also applies to the issue of staying on one single layer of serious-ness. Not only is this dangerous for self-growth but also on general mental wellbeing. Harsh and entirely subjective, but here are my views: being too involved in serious topics means you tense up and forget about the absolute joy in perceiving your silly human life as a trivial solo journey that means nothing compared to the scale of universe! Whilst staying in the comfortable layer of ‘positive vibes only’ and ‘live love laugh’ means you will slowly start to decay in the ability to critically approach societal / ethical problems that go beyond the complexity of ‘do what you love’ and ‘happiness is the key’.
Don’t take the risk of becoming a single layered individual that only has one thing in life to hold on to – because that’s where your ‘self’ will be lead itself and develop, and a complete life should always be multi-dimensional.
Try focusing on becoming a multilayered person. Spend two hours on choosing a cute outfit before heading to your lecture on racism and human rights. Take an hour each day to read the news – perhaps today it’s about the importance of sleep on academic performance – but also stay up late if you want to watch a football match you absolutely want to chat about with your friends.
What do you think? It’s a brief idea that I’ve turned into a way-too-long blogpost (I really don’t feel like editing too much this week!) I hope you’ve had a nice read, and I hope as a small reflection you’ll think of how many layers you currently have as a person, and if you like it or not.