Every year, in the sleepy little village where I live, the river reinvents itself. In the summer it’s a fast flowing river where salmon swim, people fish, and boats cruise up and down from one village to another. When it gets cold, as in really cold, it freezes over. Inside and out, several feet thick, and the river becomes an ice road. Instead of using boats for transportation, folks pile into their 4-wheelers or trucks and drive to the nearby villages. People still fish there. They just have to drill a hole into the ice to get to them. And when it starts to get warm again and spring turns into summer, the river becomes…well, a river again.
People can do this to, ya know? Maybe not turn into an ice highway, but they can reinvent themselves. We do it all the time. Rebecca Webber wrote an article in the June 2014 Psychology Today magazine on this very topic. In it, Webber reminds readers to dream big, stay true to self, and make goals toward becoming your future self. She talks about how hard it is to do and gives examples of folks who wanted to reinvent themselves and accomplished doing so. It got me to thinking about all the people I’ve read about who have done this very thing in their own unique ways.
Like this person. After the end of a long term relationship, instead of getting stuck on the past relationship, she reinvented herself. Creating a break up list (think “to-do” list only much more interesting) allowed her an incredible opportunity to dream big, stay true to self, and make goals toward becoming her future self.
Or Lisa, whose blog tells the story of life lessons she’s learned from the end of her marriage. She writes “This blog is about re-centering and re-purposing…It is about how to create beauty from trauma.” Isn’t that incredible? Re-centering and re-purposing herself. Creating beauty. Again, another example or reinventing self.
Sometimes we reinvent ourselves for other reasons. Like this couple, The Gypsynesters. These guys are great. Instead of getting sucked into the empty nest syndrome, they decided to go all out and explore the world. They sold the nest first, in case you were wondering.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of reinventing self. A couple weeks ago I reinvented myself from clinician to director of a film. It was a short-lived experience and a lot harder than I ever thought possible, but I enjoyed every minute of it. From hosting the cast party pre-filming, to meeting the film crew, to cleaning up afterward, it was fun to play a different role for a while.
So what about you? Do you have a goal or a dream for your future? An idea of who or what you want to be someday? It doesn’t mean you aren’t content with your life now. It just means that maybe your current role in life is something you want to change in a few years.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Dream big. Create goals that can help you make your dream a reality. Most of all, stay true to yourself.