In or out?

7 May

Who are you?

Now, there’s a question (something light for this Bank Holiday Monday perhaps!?)

I guess what I am really asking is: how well do you know yourself? And does it matter?

Personally I love a bit of self-reflection. Working out how I work. And why. And I hope it makes me a better friend, a kinder wife, a more thoughtful human.

But there are times when difficult questions must be asked. Why do I believe that? What does that attitude/behaviour say about me? Am I the person I say I want to be?

Sometimes it involves going there, to the difficult places.

You see, it’s far too easy in life to just go along with the crowd (whoever that crowd may be). It’s far too easy to think that “our crowd” is “going against the crowd”, when all we are doing is “going along with our crowd”.

And, within this crowd, we are no longer challenged, no longer self-reflective or willing to go¬†there. Instead we grow comfortable. And safe. And warm. And our old motivations and values – to “make a difference”, “treat others well”, “make a mark” – simply get watered down. Again. And again. And again. Until they are no longer recognisable.

The thing about these crowds is – you are either “in” or “out”. You either belong or you don’t. You can’t be a half-member of the tennis club or book club or women’s institute. You either belong or you don’t.

And this is why I have been thinking lately about crowds and belonging. Where do I want to belong and where I do, in fact, belong right now? Have I stopped questioning of late and now simply find myself caught up in the crowd? Dare I ask myself if life has got too comfortable and safe (for I may not like the answer)? Dare I step “out” and relinquish being “in” in order to grow and live life to the full?

Changes are a-looming for my husband and I. We have to move out of our home this summer. And need to decide where to go next. This is, for us, completely tied up with jobs and income. What will we choose? Comfortable or risky? Safe or unknown? As we enter the decision-making process, will we dare to ask ourselves the difficult questions and potentially go against the crowd? Will be stay “in” or risk going “out”?

What about you? Who are you? And where are you – in or out? It’s your choice.

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