Know Thyself

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I’m getting more adventurous as I get older.

Now, if I’m being perfectly honest with you, part of that adventurous spirit is because I’m depressed. It takes more thrill and excitement to thrill and excite me. It takes something new and different for me to feel much of anything. The same old is, well, just the same old.

Which is funny, because I’m a creature of habit. I’m like an old clock. Slow, steady, grinding away the same way I always have been. I like patterns, systems, and rules. I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I just have a lower emotional baseline than I used to, because of my depression. It takes more life to make me feel alive.

But the other part of my slowly but steadily more adventurous spirit is this: I want to know myself.

If you want my brain to hurt, get me thinking about how I can possibly not understand myself. Me. The person I’ve lived with since the moment I was conceived. I’ve been there for every experience, every moment, every hug, every scratch, every lost tooth, every “Participation” trophy. And yet, somehow, I can still not know myself.

Insanity. Right? Surely, you agree? Oh, good. That makes me feel better.

Nonetheless. I do not know myself, and I still surprise myself. Often. Like, several times a day kind of often.

On Monday, I played a lot of golf. Way more golf than most people ever play. And it was only my third time on the course, in my entire life. It was a fund-raising event, and we were supposed to play 100 holes over the course of the day. Each of us.

In order to play that many holes in one day, we teed off more than one ball at a time on each hole. And because I’m not exactly a spectacular golfer (Hey, I’m new, cut me some slack!) I didn’t exactly hit all of them straight down the fairway.

13235656_10209427172824225_1934671871027124169_oSo. Something I learned about golf on Monday: it’s surprisingly easy to lose golf balls, even in short grass.

Something I learned about myself on Monday: I get unreasonably pissed off when I lose golf balls.

It made no sense. I’m a brand new golfer, I was playing 100 holes in one day, and I was given a bag full of at least 30 golf balls, because they knew I’d lose some. So why would it infuriate me when I lost one?

Honestly, I’m still not sure. Don’t worry, my counselor and I are looking into it. As soon as we finish figuring out why I care 237% more what my sister thinks of me than anyone else in my family, which is a topic that came up because of my brother’s wedding.

But here’s my point: if I stick to the same old, same old, my systems and routines, never attending new events or trying new things or putting myself in potentially stressful situations, I will not learn about myself. It’s safe here, in my pattern, but I will not know my flaws, my faulty assumptions, and my emotional reactions to strange and insignificant events.

I’d rather try new things and fail than go through life as a stranger to myself.

Have you ever discovered something surprising about yourself? What caused that discovery?

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One thought on “Know Thyself

  1. Emily Sutherland May 20, 2016 / 11:16 am

    This is so true. Last year I switched church communities after 13 years in one place, not because I was dissatisfied but because my husband was hired by the new church. It was quite an experience to be thrust outside the comfort of my people into a huge new land of “firsts.” And it has been wonderful. You’re so right. We never really know ourselves or learn whether or not we’re making progress if we do all the same things with the same people in the same places. Adventure is good!

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