This week, I had an urge to change my hairstyle. The idea of braids was not enticing because I do that every time I “change my hairstyle.” Come on Ann, think different. The colour red all of a sudden popped into my mind. What are you thinking, OMG, Red is such a bad idea for you.
Stick to black – that phrase came out as the voice of my ex-lover in my head. “Leave your hair black and curly, everything else makes you look like that girl,” I remember he would say. The thought made me a little nauseous. That girl. I probably don’t want to be that girl, do I? Stick to what you know.
Familiarity – That common thief.
What is it about the things we have that makes us fear losing them? Why is the jump so scary? Why can’t we let go?
Have you ever asked yourself why it is that you stay at your job even though you moan about it every day? Why do you eat the food that you do? Why use only certain brands? Why do you stop wearing makeup when your partner says they only like your natural look?
The reason you won’t give up what you currently know and have, is because you equate it to giving yourself up. The You you associate with, the You you’ve ever known, the You that is loved – The only You you know how to be.
I’ve found that most of us base our decisions firstly on what we know and what we know is only limited to what we’ve experienced and what we have accepted to be truths and facts based on our interpretation of information presented to us. Anything else is uncomfortable, uncertain and too much of a risk. Therefore, our minds reject anything that comes to us in unfamiliar packaging because we conclude that that is just not us.
Say for example, you walk into a shoe shop and you ask the shoemaker for a size 5 shoe and he says to you, “Actually, I think you want a size 6.” Your first instinct – you shake your head and tell him he’s mistaken, you’re definitely a size 5. He asks you “Are you sure?” You feel a bit of an irritation at the idea that this person thinks you wouldn’t know your own shoe size.
“These fit just perfect. They’re comfy,” you defend yourself. He says, “Those shoes are too tight and the shape of the stiletto is making you experience pain. Are you sure you are a size five?” You feel a wobble at the bottom of your sole. You shake it off and say you’re sure.
Then he says, “You don’t want to accept that this size 5 is not your size. This isn’t you, not anymore anyway. The shoes you are wearing are too tight to wear every day. You see those sores on your Achilles’ heel, why won’t you admit that these stilettos are the reason you have those blisters?”
This is crazy, you think, the audacity of someone to come tell you you are not a size 5 when all along you’ve been a size 5 and every shoe store you walk into tells you you are size 5 and here comes this person confidently saying, actually, you’ve been wearing the wrong shoe size your whole life.
You refuse to accept it because it’s absurd, simply. You look down at your size 5 stilettos and you know in fact that this is you. You’re a size 5.
However, what you fail to see is that this shoemaker standing in front of you may know more about your shoe size than you are willing to admit. You’re so busy trying to convince the shoemaker that the stilettos are the exact style you like, are what you believe looks good on you and are exactly what fit you, as you are. You refuse to listen to the shoemaker and hear his reasons why he thinks he knows more about the shoes you need than you do. You haven’t considered that maybe the shoemaker knows something that will fit and look better than your size 5 stilettos. All you’re thinking of is, this size 5 is a universal size 5, what magical size must this be to fit me that won’t be size 5? This is the norm. All of us size 5’s are perfectly fit for this. I’m not any different.
What you refuse to learn from the shoemaker is that he knows that no two pairs of feet are exactly the same. Not the toes, not the length, depth, curve around the edge, or the fullness – Not any two. What fits another person perfectly might be perfect for that person, but maybe not for you. What if what you need is something bigger? What if you need less space around your pinky toe because it is tinier than the average?
There lies the entire problem – You think your foot should fit into the one-size-fits-all shoe because someone says this is where you are supposed to be and this is what it’s supposed to feel like. This is all you’ve known so therefore this should be what’s good for you. You forget to take note of all the reasons yours are different. That maybe you deserve something bigger than what you’re trying to stay with. You deserve better than blistered Achilles’ heels and coming home to not feeling your feet. This isn’t who you are and this isn’t what you should be trying to hold on to.
I’m a big believer in destinies and listening out spiritually (or from your gut) for all the signs and omens that lead you on the path to your life’s purpose. The random shoemakers – they are your signs. They are the questions you need to answer. If you never try that size 6, will you ever confirm whether they were right or wrong? What will you have lost by trying?
Open-mindedness and introducing aspects of neophilia into our lives are the only way we really get to know ourselves. Knowing yourself is more than saying what you love and what makes you comfortable. Knowing yourself is also knowing what you don’t love, what you’re not and why you’re not it. When you do find, after trying to understand it or experience it, that you still dislike the things that you dislike, how much more does that say about the things that you do love?
How many times are you going to ignore all the shoemakers along your path that are suggesting that you try some new size and some new pattern? Why do they do this? Why are they recurring? Why are your dreams recurring? What is it that you’re seeing that makes your butterflies flutter a little inside? What are those stories that you hear that make you think dejavu?
So do it. Do the jump. Change your hair colour to red. Get shoes that are more comfortable. Kiss your crush. Quit your job. Leave the place you have known your whole life and find new favourites. Find something to live for. Allow it manifest. Because if you never try, you’ll never know. If you never know, how will you ever find you?
Do it. Jump.