I made it all up. What, you ask? Well all of it. Who I am. What I do. Where I’m at. I made it all up.
Shock and horror? Well, it shouldn’t be. You do it too. We all do. Where do you think “you” come from?
Every decision I’ve made, every reaction I’ve had, every thing I’ve learned, all the things I’ve chosen not to learn. Every time I chose to say yes instead of no, every time I ran away instead of facing something down, every time I glared fear in the face and refused to step back. Every time I choose to help instead of ignore, every time I choose to whisper something kind to someone sad instead of shying away from their hurt, every time I grab somebody in a great big hug instead of ignoring their need for one or my own.
But what about genetics? What about people who have hurt you? What about people who have gone out of their way to stand in yours? What about acts of nature? What about all the bad things that happen all around us every single day? Isn’t THAT what makes us what we are?
Well, no. Sure, your genetics might make you more inclined to be introverted, but you can choose to overcome that. Sure, genetics may have landed you with a deformity or learning difficulties or mental health struggles; but there are people who find ways to face these things and find ways to manage or deal with them, they get help, they reach out, they take meds. And others yet, who never see it as an obstacle and succeed far beyond what an “average” or “normal” person might.
Sure, other people will hurt you, will try to hold you back, will tell you that you aren’t good enough, that you don’t deserve what you have. There will be those who will do everything they can to break you down to build themselves up, there are those who will break your heart, let you down, disappoint you to your core. How YOU choose to respond to those situations, how YOU choose to deal with those people, how YOU CHOOSE to hold on or let go; that is what will make you who you are – NOT the other person.
Acts of nature? Bad things that happen? Sure, you can lose your home through flooding or fire; you can lose your things to bad people; you can (heaven forbid) lose people you love to things beyond anybody’s control. And sure, that can break you. I still feel like this might break me some day. But. There are people with nothing, with nobody, that still choose to carry on, that still choose to greet everybody with a smile, that find the beauty in life; that go beyond survival and BECOME more, growing from having been stretched to almost breaking.
Forces around you will push and pull you in every direction, but YOU choose how those forces affect you. You choose who you are and who you become.
I choose to be afraid because I am not ready to face my fears. I choose to be angry and frustrated with a situation, because I am not willing to do what needs doing to change it. I choose to surround people with love and support no matter who they are. I choose to always try to help and share and connect with the people around me. I choose to believe their is good in everybody, even if you can’t always find it. I choose who I am. I make it up as I go; which means I made it all up – who I am now.
Ah, you say, but you didn’t make up what you do! Well, that depends how you look at it. I work for myself. I am technically responsible to, and for, only myself in my career. I left a successful career, where I had some basic knowledge and a knack or instinct for certain things – but I didn’t KNOW how to do my job. I learnt from others, I taught myself and where I doubted or wobbled, sure I made it all up! Don’t we all? Isn’t that what instinct is?
I write for a living; I collect information from the world around me, I filter it through my knowledge, my experience, my perspectives and beliefs and my skill set, and then I make it all up. That’s what creating is, isn’t it?
I created a blog; I bought a magazine; I co-created an online support group; I guide others to grow their brands; I help others hone their skills. But how? I was never taught how to do these things. I was given a hodgepodge of training, of facts, of techniques; I smooshed that all together with some instinct and some natural ability and I made it all up.
Where I’m at is a little tougher. I haven’t technically made it all up. But through decisions I’ve made, prioritizing, steps I’ve taken, plans I’ve followed through on or failed to follow through on – I have made the choices that have brought me to where I am at. I am surrounded by towering to do lists – lists literally made up by me. I have given some things priority over others – I’ve made up the value of these things in my mind in my world to my time. I’ve chosen to move forward in a specific way, I’ve made up a course of action; I really struggle to veer off those courses, even if I discover half way they aren’t the most effective or efficient routes to take.
But that is anxiety! That is bigger than you! You didn’t make that all up! Well, sure, but I have chosen to not confront that and deal with it through the past 8 months of therapy. Not that it hasn’t come up, it has, and we even made progress for a while; but I didn’t prioritise it. So here I sit, where I am; and in a way I made it that way so I made it all up – in a manner of speaking.
This all seems very deep. And very “enlightened” to me. When it didn’t start that way at all. It started from the usual imposter syndrome overwhelm that rears it’s ugly head every now and then. Oh no, I think, they are going to figure it out any minute – I am not what they think I am, I don’t know how to do what I do, I can’t escape where I’m at – because I made it up…
An odd twist, that working through it all has proven my first statement true and yet, I do feel more enlightened. And maybe making it all up, when you are getting it right, isn’t the worst thing you can do. And owning that you have created who you are and where you are, might go a long way into climbing out of the bad places you have fallen into.
Some rather heavy thoughts for a Friday morning. But there they are.
Sending all the love xx