Perspective Is Key
For the first nine years of my life, I grew up in student accommodation. It was a studio that served as a living room, bedroom, and play room all in one. We had a communal kitchen we shared with about twenty other apartments on one floor. It was rather cozy, yet simultaneously an unfit place in which to bring up a child.
I cannot remember much from that period, but I certainly did not know any different at the time, so it was my normal. I had all I needed in one room—my mother and my father—up until my father moved out next door when I was seven.
I do remember this period because it broke the sense of security I had. My mum was by my side, and we continued our unbreakable relationship. My parents divorced and remarried again a few years later, and eventually divorced again, but this is not the part I want to focus on for today.
This is not a sob story. This is a snippet from my journey. This journey has given me resilience, perspective, and respect. It has taught me not to take anything or anybody for granted, but it also gave me exposure to student life, making it a lot less exciting once I became a third level student myself.
My early years have shaped a lot of who I am today. They contributed to my ambition and to an unhealthy craving of appreciation, too. The inconvenience I served to my dad while he was studying for his PhD has fueled my need for acceptance despite my mum’s biggest efforts to cover it up at the time. On a positive note, this has made me more focused on my goals and responsible for my own actions.
This week, I have self-reflected repeatedly, leading me to think that I have too much time on my hands. Time is relative in my life. Technically, my schedule is full, and I selectively turn down or procrastinate some tasks to give myself some space. In that space, I tend to exercise, meet my spiritual friends, or write. At times, I get a call from my agent and I am learning lines for an audition, which is not as much fun as it used to be because my brain seems to shut down by 8:00 p.m..
Usually, Pawel and I have two hours in the evening to sit down and breathe, chat through a few things we remember to tell each other and watch Netflix. By 11:00 p.m. we realize our son will probably wake up a few times, and since we are up at 6:00 a.m. for work, we rush upstairs saying, “Tomorrow, we really need to go to bed earlier.”
My problem-solving personality can be a curse at times. I have learned not to solve other people’s problems for them; it used to lead to a lot of tension on my side and didn’t provide the help my friends or family needed. I have learned to listen and only offer advice when asked. I have not learned to let go of unsolved issues in myself. I am not even sure if this is what I am supposed to do. What I know for sure is that once I acknowledge a glitch, I am in overdrive to adjust it.
As you know from my last article, my latest acknowledgement has been the need for perfection. After doing some homework on that, I now know that it is a form of addiction. Now, this feels like a big problem I need to solve. Yes, I have literally created a psychology project out of myself!
I have even started to listen to Esther Perel’s Podcast series called Where Should We Begin, which is a recording of people’s therapy sessions. I love it, as creepy as it sounds. It provides insight into people’s feelings and reactions to difficult situations they face. The reason it resonates with me is because it’s exactly what I do by sharing my articles on Women For One. I share my emotions, my experiences as I have felt them, and how I have processed them rather than facts about what happened or what seems to be.
Sometimes a sad story can end up bringing out the best in you, depending on your perspective. Something that may have been a negative turns out to be a positive story of self-development. On the other hand, a seemingly good experience can hide emotions of insecurity or confusion to name a few. Without transparency for what is going on behind the curtains (our “game face” as I call it), sharing serves no purpose.
Sharing should be about bringing people with you on your journey, letting them in to understand your experience, and allowing them to take away what serves their purpose.Previously published here.