It’s almost the end of March. With a quarter of the year behind us, I’m assessing where I am and trying to figure out my plans for where I want to be. That’s true in terms of fitness and races. It’s also true for life in general.
I’ve been “shoulding” on myself and have decided to stop. I should race. I should be a lawyer. I should listen to X, Y and Z. Really? Should I?
I read an article by Patti Smith in the November 2010 issue of The Oprah Magazine. This spoke to me:
“In 1979, I gave up my life in the arena of rock ‘n’ roll to marry and raise a family, another divergence from my pursuit as a solitary artist. But through my family I learned the final lesson of Pinocchio – what it is like to be human. And always through everything, through sacrifice and success, I have tried to stay close to my little flame, reminding me who I am. The cricket tells Pinocchio, ‘Always let your conscience be your guide.’ These words, by a small, insignificant insect, give us all we need. The best person to tell you who you are, what you should be, is ultimately yourself.”
Though this article appeared in the November issue, I read it just yesterday. It captures and articulates for me, better than I could, what I’ve been experiencing lately. I’m trying to listen to my inner voice, to the internal compass that guides me. I am trying to be my true self because I believe that the true me is better than any partial or artificial version of me that I could be. I have no interest in being partial or artificial. I want to be real.
With a quarter of 2011 behind me, I have found my theme for the year. Be real. I am working on being real. That can mean different things to different people. For me, it means being the same person no matter who I’m around. It means figuring out who I am wired to be – in my heart and at my core – and being that person in any crowd. I know a few people who are like that, and I respect those people immensely. I want to be one of those people.