Gratefulness Challenge Day 6

I felt a little ADD with today’s post. I kept picking three things, beginning to write and then changing my mind and starting again. I kept asking myself “Is that really something I’m GRATEFUL for?” Because there are tons of things I like or that make me happy or that are important to me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am grateful for them. Hmmmm I think there’s a larger question in that statement to do with priorities… I’ll save that thought for another post on another day. Onwards with the Gratefulness Challenge!

1. Being able to problem solve: A few days ago I was trying to get some footage of mine off of a DVD, today I was trying to use basic HTML code without any knowledge about the system at all. I was able to solve both problems all on my own and it felt great! Ok sure google helped a bit, but I still had to do the reading and figure out how to make it work.

I was actually reading an article yesterday called Please Don’t Help My Kids  by Kate Bassford Baker in which she discusses why sitting back and watching your kids struggle a bit is a good thing. Because in adult life you can’t just cry every time something is beyond your reach and magically watch a giant hand come down and lift you up; You have to work for the things you want. It’s also an important ingredient if you want to continue to grow (similar to what I was saying about working hard in an earlier post). What people sometimes forget though is that problem solving is a learned skill, not a natural human instinct. We learn through results, so if crying has always worked, we become confused when it is no longer effective.

Sure sometimes you just don’t have the energy to take the time to figure something out completely on your own, but there is a big difference between asking for help and expecting someone else to do the work so you can reap the benefits. Plus figuring something out on you own is soooo much more satisfying than watching someone else do it for you. You can take ownership over the task and proudly say to people “Yes, I did that ALL BY MYSELF!”

2. Fear: It was on my mind today because the next few months have a lot of scary new things going on for me (which I promise to fill you in on in time). And though I got a little scared today, that feeling got me going “Yes! This is so exciting!” Which I realized probably isn’t a normal reaction for most people, so I thought I’d explain why fear gets me so pumped.

The reason that we become afraid is because our body is warning us about a danger along our path. Fear is meant to help us prepare either to fight or flee. The way I see it is that if what you’re doing doesn’t scare you just a little then you’ve got a problem, because that means that you already know how to accomplish the task. It is impossible to push yourself without fear. Nothing is truly a goal unless it scares you, because true goals are things that you haven’t done before, therefore they are dangerous, but in the best sense of the world.

Some of the most memorable and defining moments of my life were also some of the most terrifying. If I never let myself be afraid then I would probably not have pursued post-secondary education, fallen in love, travelled the world, moved across the country, become a professional artist, and the list goes on for pages. Moving through the experience of fear is so important. When I am really truly terrified of doing something it generally means that I am heading in the right direction. Well as long as I’m not walking directly towards a lion or something of that nature. That’s the kind of fear you’re supposed to flee from.

3. Individuality: Today I walked out my door in a multicoloured bodysuit, patterned tights and shorts. I wasn’t trying to make a statement, or get noticed (though I probably did a little), I just opened up my closet and that’s what I felt like putting on. And sure you can say, well you’re young, you can wear whatever you want and regret it when you’re older, but individuality comes down to a lot more than what clothes you put on your back. It is giving yourself the permission to express yourself freely and openly.

A question I ask myself a lot is “What do I like because I truly do like it and what do I like because someone else told me to?” It’s one of those unanswerable questions, similar to the chicken and the egg, but it helps me check in with myself and my behaviour. We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us how to dress, talk, walk, smile, learn, act and think. It’s an information overload!

What I find truly beautiful though is those people who present themselves in as genuine a fashion as possible. Their individuality doesn’t come from a desire to be different, but from a desire to be true to themselves. My entire life I have never had a problem with going against the norm. I find people’s differences to be so much more interesting and inviting than their similarities. Therefore, I do my best to embrace my own unique qualities and celebrate my individuality.

If you still aren’t sure what I’m talking about. Take a look at this video on real beauty. Not only is the message amazing (I actually typed it up have it posted on my fridge I loved it so much) but look at the faces of these women. Not a single one of them would be considered a “model” but they are just as gorgeous as any girl you would see on a runway, if not more so. This video would actually be suuuuuuper boring if each face looked the same.

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