Creating Yourself


“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

George Bernard Shaw

I think I finally understand this.

I love learning new things. If I’m baking bread I want to figure out how to make the best bread I can make. That could take weeks or months or years but I’m not going to give up. Every time I bake bread I’m going to try to make it better than the last time. That’s just what I do.

By changing the world around me, by making good bread, I am changing myself. That’s an interesting thought I just had. That’s how we change ourselves, by changing the world. It sounds obvious when I say it. But I have never thought about it exactly that way before.

While I spent elven years organizing my life I became the sort of person that puts things away and that likes things clean and that doesn’t want to own things that aren’t useful or beautiful.

While I’ve spent the last couple years helping my children learn to play the violin I’ve become the sort of person that loves music. The other day I was driving somewhere and I thought, “Why am I going to this thing when I could be at home practicing?” I didn’t see that coming. Music has never been my thing. I was only dragged into it by my children.

You never know what you will bump into that will change you and change the course of your life and you can’t really see where your life is going until you look back and see where you’ve been.

But we’re always changing for better or for worse. I always like to make a little effort and change for the better because not making an effort sickens me. Even when I fail at something I still consider it progress because I learned something from the failure but not trying at all isn’t an option.

After two years of practicing the violin with my children there are some things that are finally clicking in my brain that I couldn’t grasp before.

Before I started taking pictures I used to wonder how a photographer could see that a scene would make a good picture and now I see photo ops everywhere. Before we started playing the violin I couldn’t hear if something was perfectly in tune but now when my violin sounds horrible and I check the tuning only one string might be just a tiny bit out of tune. And I hear things in music that i have never heard before, a rhythm I want to add to one of our songs, a story we could set to music. I am constantly amazed by how our study has changed us.

A lot of my life has been wasted on nonsense but then a lot of it hasn’t. Looking back I do see progress and I think if I could really see myself from twenty years ago I would see a lot of progress but my memory is fuzzy. It’s difficult not to think that I have always been the self I am right now even though I know I will become something different tomorrow and the next day.

I never wanted to be a writer and I never wanted to be a musician but it seems that that is the sort of person I have been creating over the years and I love the things I’ve learned more than I ever knew I could.


 

It’s been months since I’ve written anything and I set out to write a blog post this morning but then it kind of turned into a chapter so I think I will add it to my list of chapters for my list of books that will probably never be finished but who knows…

I miss the way I used to write. I miss the stories. But my stories have become too long in my middle age and they are difficult to get out. I need to find a way to take them out of my head a little bit at a time so I can start writing again.

Write. Just write.

 

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