22 Feb Who were you 10 years ago?
“Close your eyes…imagine yourself 10 years from now…” You know that exercise, the one that has you visualising your desired ideal life, somewhere out in the future. Really useful thing to do, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes the best way to move forward in life is to stop and first look back at how far you have come. Seems counterintuitive, I know, but bare with me.
So often we move through life thinking that what we want is always juuust out of reach. But when you take the time to look back at how far you have come suddenly your dreams and hopes for your future seem pretty doable. Looking back is a great indication of the potential that lies ahead.
I had this realisation recently when I was at a party and the Gen Y lead singer announced he was about to perform a retro song – from the 90’s. My friend and I laughed, suddenly feeling very old.
It really is a shock to the system when you realise you are way older than you feel and think you are. As much as I hate to admit it, years really do flit by like pages of a telephone book (remember those) and before you know it, you’re pushing 4-0.
I said to my friend ‘I swear, I still feel like I’m in my mid-20’s’. He agreed, then asked:
‘Where were you 10 years ago?’
(Although I prefer to ask ‘WHO were you 10 years ago?’)
I mentally did the numbers and realised that I would have been 27, working in an advertising agency in Melbourne.
‘Advertising!’ he said incredulously, laughing
I had to agree, it was quite amusing considering the person I am now and the values I hold close. My former life was SO VERY different to the one I lead now. Looking back, it’s almost like it was a different person living that life.
Think: fashion I couldn’t afford, maxed credit cards, stressed out and unhappy, drinking, marketing people stuff they don’t need (ugh)! and secretly studying esoteric stuff on the weekends (my lifeline)
Coastal/country simplicity, space, fresh air and q u i e t (an introverts dream), second-hand everything, time to pursue my soul-work, no makeup and a garden full of home-grown veggies.
In those 10 years I:
- Completely overhauled my lifestyle.
- Left a career that served my ego, not my soul.
- Started a business, then left it behind when it didn’t feel right.
- Took several risks, including leaving my job with no other to go to.
- Moved interstate to follow love.
- Had a sea-change quite a few decades earlier than most.
- Stripped back my lifestyle to bare essentials
- Had a bambino.
By comparing my life 10 years ago to where I am now, I saw so clearly the dramatic change. The last decade has been one of huge personal growth, and my life now is a reflection of that. And this is not just about change – it’s actually about becoming more of who I really am.
I was also able to acknowledge for the first time, that I actually made it all happen. And if I could make that happen, then all of a sudden the potential that exists for me in another 10 years is magnified.
So naturally, my thoughts shifted to the future:
Who will I be 10 years from now?
This is the thought that really excites me.
Suddenly the type of life I see myself living doesn’t seem so unattainable. Those big dreams, that lifestyle, my work, my family life – all of it – seems totally doable. Maybe its worth aiming a little bit higher.
So, what about you? Who were you 10 years ago? What can you acknowledge yourself for and Who will you be 10 years from now? I’d love to hear in the comments below.