Thursday, February 24, 2011

Introduction, Change

Why, hello :)

I'm Thursday, or Ashley, whichever you prefer to call me. I could see myself taking a liking to this Thursday thing. Anyways, just a quick introduction here. Kat (Wednesday) had asked me to take part in this blog project, and I happily agreed. I will most likely be posting artwork in the future (yay!) as I am beginning to take up making art again. Today, however, I would like to start with a few words about a choice subject.

Change. I was originally going to post artwork on my first day of blogging (today! woohoo!), but have decided to write instead. In deciding to talk rather than post a drawing, I confronted my fear of change.  I did say informally that I might be posting artwork on the first day, so what if I annoy Kat or one of the other bloggers by changing my mind? But at that point, I realized that I did have good reasons for changing. I did not want to post the particular artwork I had mentioned just yet, and I had some other issues on my mind that seemed of more importance. Of course, being a student, I don't always have time to spontaneously create drawings, which was the case last night. So, in a twist of irony, I had to confront the issue I wanted to talk about on here. I chose to write about change, and by doing so, I let the shackles of the past fall away from my decision making process.

Sometimes we get so used to living in the same patterns and routines that we forget that we can change things.    We become like rats on squeaky wheels, running after a goal that forever eludes us (and having to put up with the obnoxious creaking of the wheel!). When this happens, we often start thinking that our life has to be the way it is, because it is so obviously hurtling in a single direction.

But I want to remind you of something amazing, because I think you already know it and need to remember it.

At any moment you can do something different.

You could take on a new profession. Eat a new food. Go somewhere you've never been. Work on the problems that you want to face.

It's all in your mindset.

You think you can't grow, you stay the same. If you're too afraid to ever try anything new, try anything different, welcome the ambiguity, greyness, and unsureness of life, you will miss out on a lot. You will miss out on meeting people and visiting places that might change you in a very deep and meaningful way.

I see students at school (I'm a third year psych student) who are afraid to talk to professors. I'm going to a small university (20-30 students in a classroom), too, so you would think people would take advantage of that kind of attention. But people come to college with this attitude that they don't need to learn anything, they don't need to challenge themselves, and they certainly don't need help changing (especially from professors!). It's a terrible attitude, because many of these students could have been hard-working, insightful people. They shackled themselves into a repetition of high school, basically. And it's not even intelligence...the importance of this falls away as in college your success is often based more highly on your motivation than your IQ.

Every inhibition you have right now is one you are holding on to. And I'm sure you have some good excuses for not changing, we all have things we could pin our responsibility on. But how is that helping you making your life more fulfilling?

 As a side note, we often doubt our ability to change something in our own lives. There's no reason to be highly critical of yourself when learning something new. Embrace the fact that you have to learn new skills to be anything different than you are now.

 It is not possible for you to wake up an accomplished musician tomorrow morning. Even prodigies have to practice to get to where they are; I've read before that some researchers say it takes about 20,000 hours of practice of an activity to become an "expert" in it. You can't beat yourself up about X, Y, or Z quality of you (I'm not where I want to be in life, I'm not recovered yet, I'm not happy enough, I should be smarter, I should work harder) when you haven't honestly worked on changing that quality! So you need to ask yourself: what do I need to do to change?

So as I begin sharing my journey here, I encourage you to find something that you can change in your life. Remember that the action comes from the mindset, and the person that accepts change and enacts change is the one who grows.

You don't have to like every change, controllable or uncontrollable.

You just have to want to grow, and start seeing the world as an opportunity to learn about yourself.
And there's no limits to what you can accomplish with this mindset. 

Much respect for your human capacity to grow and change,


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