While getting settled in our new home, I stumbled across a bin of memorabelia I’ve been lugging around since I left my parent’s home when I was 18. Stuff like yearbooks, awards, pictures, letters passed in the hallway, report cards, and a few projects I did along the way were tightly packed in this time capsule.
Eventually I came across a report that I did in 4th grade on the State of New Jersey, and I immediately noticed many qualities about my work. My cursive handwriting was impeccable, stylized and artistic. (Ahh, the lost art of cursive writing!!) The report had beautiful presentation, with lots of colorful, detailed drawings of various images relating to New Jersey.
Now that I have kids of my own, I could clearly see that this was impressive work for a 4th grader, and my teacher thought so too as he gave me 4 A’s on the project. After viewing my work from the perspective of an older, wiser version of myself, what immediately came to mind was my mom telling me just a couple of years back that my elementary school had mentioned to her on several occassions that I was very artistic. I then began to retrace the years in my mind, and realized there were so many clues along the way to validate my talents, interests and passions but for whatever reason they were not pursued.
Why didn’t I continue on a path to pursue my passion for art and presentation? Where did I get off track? Why did no one, myself included, pick up on the recurrence of these clues? Instead, I went on to study Finance in college, feeling unfulfilled by a career in Financial Services.
Interestingly, since being at home raising my kids, I have ventured into several creative endeavors. I opened a small boutique for the home in Reading, Massachusetts, and I launched Invisible Sun in November of 2011. After having a chance to explore creative opportunities, returning to a career in Financial Services is so far off my radar at this point.
Finding this report and launching myself back to a younger version of myself shifted my perspective of myself today and how I should guide myself (career-wise) into the future. It was an absolute validation that my passion for art, creativity and presentation was present very early in my life.
The source of our creative expression, our purpose and our passions resides in the essence of who we are, and it is my belief that the essence of who we are is in its purest form when we are children, before external factors influence our behavior, gel our limiting beliefs, taking us farther and farther away from who we are. The exercise of making a reconnection with an earlier version of yourself can truly short-circuit you to the essence of who you are.
One way I stay connected is by keeping a picture of myself as a little girl on my desk.
As you try to reconnect with the essence of who you are to, ask youself some questions:
What did I love to do as a kid?
- What was my favorite subject in school?
- Where did my interests gravitate?
- Did something come along that mesmerized me?
- What did people compliment me for?
- Who were my friends?
- What attracted me to those friends?
- What what did my friends and I love to do?
As you look at your answers, ask yourself if you still feel a strong connection to yourself as a child or is there a disconnect? If there is a disconnect, try to pinpoint the stage of your life you may have gotten off track.
If you’ve been lugging around bins of memorabilia like me, dig them out! Reacquaint yourself with an earlier version of yourself. It’s like coming home, and once you open up the ‘vault,’ you’ll find yourself peeling back more layers every day. I liken the process to loosening up the soil before planting a new plant. Sure, it takes time and energy to unearth the essence of who we are, but it’s a interesting journey worth taking.
Another great way to help unearth your ‘self’ is by listening to music you listened to as a kid because it will bring many great memories to the surface that will offer you more clues! I’m always amazed by how I can still recall lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in decades.
Let me know how it’s going for you, and if you have any other tips about how you’ve made a reconnection with your ‘self,’ leave a comment!