Socrates is credited with saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I think there’s a lot of truth to that. If we understand ourselves a little bit better, we understand why we respond the way we do instead of just being reactive to everything around us.
When it comes to self-discovery, some people attend retreats; some read books; some journal; some take courses. Most are setting out to excavate their authentic selves.
That’s not typically the way I work. I take the lazy method of self-discovery. I listen to others' opinions of me and decide if they’re onto something or not. For example, an old boyfriend once told me I’m irrationally stubborn. WRONG.
My friends, Joyce and Lisa tell me I order the same thing at restaurants all the time. Lisa actually ordered for me perfectly at lunch yesterday to prove this. RIGHT (Begrudgingly).
Paul told me that anytime I go to the mall I park at the same entrance so I can look at the purses when I walk in. TRUE. (I do love purses.)
Here is a more subtle fact that I had never noticed before, but I’ve been to the Raleigh area more in the last three years than I have in the prior 52 years. I’m not the type of person who loves to ride in the car for long periods of time, (I know this about myself already), but you go where your heart is in, and mine is in Chapel Hill.
One of my favorite parts of the trip is when I ask Madi what kind of music she’s been listening to, and she’s off - usually only stopped by our arrival at the destination. It’s always interesting and educational for me though.
When it comes to music, I’ve always felt like I know what I like, but I have never thought to examine why. One day Madison confidently told me she had some music I would like, and then she played it. I asked her how she knew I would like it, and she actually had an answer. She explained that I like notes in a certain range(I don’t remember what the range was), and that I like songs that tell a story. She was right; I had never noticed that I do pay attention to the words much more, and she, by contrast, likes the melodies and rhythms, much more. It really makes sense because I am a writer, and she is a musician.
And then I learned something else on my own this week: I hate to sit still. The thought has crossed my mind recently, but last week the proximity of a snake caused me to fall down some stairs, and land on the leg that already has a bum knee. For two days, I hobbled around, thinking there was no reason to prop it up. Finally when my knee( the only skinny part on me) was the size of a grapefruit, I decided to rest.
I wiggled; I squirmed; I got up( just for a minute); I complained; I finally gave up and laid back down. Paul peeped his head in and said, “You’re really not good at being still.” There might’ve been some sort of comment comparing him to Sherlock.
So now that I’ve had the time to ponder, I've decided that the comment about being irrationally stubborn might also be true.