This amazing TED Talk by Caroline Casey could not have shown up on my Facebook feed at a better time. A time when my goal is to figure life out. I would highly recommend watching it before you read on. I would even go so far as to suggest that you watch it if you are short on time and must choose between watching it and reading my post.
The talk leaves us with the message that it is supremely important to be who we are. But not in the traditional sense that most articles with (first half of) this title refer to. It is one thing to be who you are while living someone else’s life. Living the life that was decided for us by society or the often blamed “life’s circumstances”. This TED Talk challanges us to take the notion of being yourself even further. To fight for the life we truly want for ourselves. The one that haunts us ever so often, creeping up on us most when we have our guard down.
However, living that life takes courage and belief in oneself. Believing that no matter what comes my way I will come out stronger, is an attitude that I have yet to master. I find myself shying away from actively pursuing things that would make my happy as I am driven by the fear of the unknown. Don’t get me wrong I am not one to back down from challanges or approach one that I have atleast some knowledge of. For example, my mentor has asked me to try something new every week in order to help me expose myself to more of what life has to offer. I have lived a relatively sheltered life and this challenge is my mentor’s way to remedy that ASAP. I am really grateful to her for pushing me to actively pursue new experiences because now I find myself signing up for volunteer opportunities that I might never gave bothered with, including begging one of my professors to let me help out with an event she is organizing for her undergraduate class this month.
However does this mean I am inching towards living an honest life? It feels as if I am currently exploring the equivalent of Caroline’s career at Accenture. However I wonder if I need the equivalent of her eyesight dropping to kick me into gear to ride an elephant across India (although I would never willingly return to India and regardless, being Mougli was never my dream.) I wonder if a lot of people in the world need the same kick in the ass. That it is this ass kicking that stands between their current life and one in which they are able to let all of their light (talent, capacity, goodness) shine.
But then I think, should I be jumping into the deep end? Perhaps for now I must take little steps until I can muster up enough courage and belief to get on a plane to Iceland or be a part of some initiative to save the wildlife inching towards extinction (that’s my version of the mougli story). I mean it would be stupid trying to lift a 450 pound dumbbell if you have never been to the gym before. Right?
As I finish this blog entry I get a message from my mentor that ends in “do epic shit”. I guess that would be a sign to get off my butt and dare to dream a little bigger. Perhaps start with the 40 pound hypothetical dumbbell rather than the originally intended 20.