Autor: Hana Kazazović
I’ve been thinking about this question since I’ve read it on Twitter:
Do we get more true to ourselves as we age, or less? Or some of both?
— Scott Berkun (@berkun) September 1, 2016
I don’t know the exact answer because I think this is something we could not generalize. Every person probably has a different answer. Every stage in our lives probably has a different answer too.
Why am I stuck with this question today?
Maybe because I was looking for this answer for myself last few years. That is why my first reply to this question was:
The best is if we could become a wiser, older version of ourselves. Otherwise, we spend life looking for our ‘factory settings’.
A couple of years ago I noticed that I am not satisfied with myself. I was not happy and I didn’t know why is that. It took me almost a decade to find out the reason for that feeling. I’ve read a ton of books and I’ve spent hours talking and thinking about my feelings. And at the end, I realized that I am far away from what who I really am. I was far away from my true version of myself.
I’ve lost myself somewhere on the road of my life without even noticing that. I was probably occupied with living. That happens a lot to us people :)
You probably think that everything was easy after I find out what my problem is. But it didn’t. It would be easy if I could go back in my past to the point where I lost the true version of myself.
But I don’t know when and where that happened. Maybe that was when I was 14 and have to choose my secondary school, and I chose Gymnasium because I didn’t know what I want to become when I grow up?
Maybe that was when I was 16 and the war started in my country and I have to become a refugee? Or maybe it was when I was 19 and came back home after that stupid war stopped?
Maybe that was later when I have to find a job and finish any kind of college, without thinking about what I really want?
Actually, while I am writing this I realize the tipping point was when I stopped thinking about what I really want because I did not have a choice. When you are focused on surviving, as I was at that time, your wishes go on pause. And we often forgot to press ‘play’ after circumstances changed.
At least I forgot it. And that little mistake caused me unhappiness years after.
It is not easy to figure out what version of ourselves is true. Wise men say we have to keep that child in ourselves. I want to ask them what if I frightened that child in myself so much that she run away? How can I assure her that she is now safe with me when I probably was rude and send her away two decades ago?
The problem is that years give us wisdom. When we are young, we want to become wiser, bigger, successful, important, richer, etc. And often, while we are working on that, we become so busy and depart from true ourselves.
Years help us to realize that and to start looking who we really are and what we want to be.
Some people called this ‘middle age crisis’.
I am almost 40 and I usually say ‘where am I and what the hell happened?’
I wish if I could have this ‘cleverness’ when I was 20. The sad thing is that one of the rare benefits of aging is wisdom. If you know some more, please tell me :)
Do we get more true to ourselves as we age, or less? Or some of both.
As Scott Berkun said – Maybe the goal is to accumulate different aspects of ourselves to use at our discretion as we need them?
I agree, and I have to add something.
We have to accept all that aspects as our benefits and use them wisely. It should not be so hard because we are older and smarter, aren’t we?
And also we have to forgive ourselves mistakes from the past and use them as lessons for our future. That was the hardest part for me and I am not sure I’ve solved it yet.
But anyway, it is the theme for some other post ;)