the it is me
This is the longest I’ve ever seen you stick with anything.
Many of us have heard this sentiment in various forms. It’s one that carries huge weight/value/shame in our society. Generally referencing – are you committed & strong, as opposed to lazy & weak. But what does that mean?
Perhaps a more useful question, what is the it?
Just because we’ve programmed ourselves to look at outcomes, finished products, commitment to the end of a thing… doesn’t mean that’s really how life works. And in particular.. doesn’t mean that’s what matters most.
We have such an issue with commitment, with follow through, with productivity – getting the job done. Mostly because we’ve decided that by finishing things, that’s how you earn value, earn your way into places, like college, and a career.
What if it’s not that people aren’t finishing it, sticking with it, committed to it, but it’s that we’re looking at the wrong it. We’ve grown accustomed to defining people by certain its/projects/accolades/paperwork, rather than letting people, the person themself, be the it.
What if we just don’t have our eyes open enough to take everything in. What if some/any/whatever project that does have an end, isn’t really worth all this fuss after all. Where do most of those projects (especially in school) end up? Perhaps people matter more than the it we’ve been touting/selling/pushing.
Say I have 3 projects I finished, enough for people to see them, touch them, agree that they’re finished. Enough to give me a grade/badge/diploma. That could be really cool. It could also be really fake. Either way… it’s on paper, so it counts.. today.
Now say, I have 35 projects I started, enough for people to see them, touch them, agree that they’re not finished. Enough to ask me why I didn’t stick with them. That could be really cool, if we embraced it. Most likely those would not be fake (there’s no reward for not finishing things). Perhaps it’s not that I’m not sticking to it, if the it is me. All these things are me, flavors/colors of me. I started something, I learned from it, who’s to say when the end is. Who’s to say there is an end. Who’s to say what’s a failure and what’s a finding. Perhaps what appears to be unsightly – is the unassuming trail to greatness/remarkableness/you – that we are missing.
Perhaps a good response, to why aren’t you sticking with it, is,
Imagine we start looking at a person’s partial projects. How much more color/flavor might we see? Imagine we start looking at the person. Lean in to people.
The new safe place requires us to look others in the eye and see them, truly see them. – Icarus Deception
So now I keep my eyes open hoping to take in all I can. – Anastasia Mayhew
Perhaps we take the whole person in. At least all we can. Perhaps whimsy matters.
Perhaps I could give myself permission to fall in love with everything. (Otterbein)
disclaimer – i’m never just me.
and so – perhaps i know you..
I don’t think it looks like a series of folded-over mistakes and do-overs that have shaped our lives. Instead, I think we’ll conclude in the end that maybe we’re all a little like human origami and the more creases we have, the better. – Bob Goff, Love Does
you cannot oppress the people who are not afraid (ashamed) anymore. .. – Eleanor Longden
embrace your inner wiring.. – Emilie Wapnick
(on bad advice to student): you’ve spent x years learning y, you can’t just up and leave an d now do z.. i think this is flawed because it weighs too heavily the time behind you, which can’t be changed, and largely discounts the time in front of you, which is completely malleable..
maalouf: I scour my memory to find as many ingredients of my identity as I can. I then assemble and arrange them. I don’t deny any of them