“Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make these choices with their brains and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful…and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clichés or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out”
Zadie Smith’s “On Beauty” has many gems and this is only one of them. But in the past few weeks in which there are decisions to be made; choices that will altar what path I take, how I live, where I live, and with whom i live; I have been trying to decide what identity I want. The person I want to be. The live I want to have. Basically, going about things all wrong. And then I read something like this and I am reminded that to be happy, i have to find ideas that mean something to me. What i believe in today will almost surely be different next week. But today is today and if I want to build myself based on my present character and not my future plans, then I need to reflect on what I love now.
Stressful times often go hand in hand with treating myself like shit. I have been exposing myself to some of the most beautiful travels and experiences but I have also been unkind to my body. Today, I’m deciding to believe in loving and thanking myself and others around me. I don’t want anyone I care about to frantically obsess over what they eat and punish themselves for not following through by binging. So I can’t do these things to myself anymore. I need to remind myself that I am worth loving, the world is beautiful, and people are amazing if you give them the chance to be. We live in a pretty fantastic world and although I recognize that for the most part I sometimes forget how lucky I am to be able to climb through woods and feel safe, how good it feels to be hugged by someone you love, and how easy it is to make people around you smile.