I’ve had the pleasure of making some new connections personally and professionally in recent weeks, which has felt good after the extended period of altered social interactions we have been living through.
I was intrigued to notice what it was I said in response to questions from people, and to notice how I explained who and how I was.
This reminded me that we are each continually updating our own narration of our story to this point in our lives. As things happen in the here and now and recent past, we make associations and we update our sense of our story over time. We weave new meanings and ideas into the tales we tell, both to ourselves and to others. Our perspective changes, and the explanations we use morph and evolve, and sometimes even transform.
If you’re curious about what this means for you, a useful exercise to do is to draw yourself a timeline. Plot the significant experiences that have shaped you, and notice how they shaped you. It may make sense to differentiate positive and negative, or it may be that for you the events and impacts are more nuanced and mixed. You might capture the key things you learned or the ways you changed as as result of what happened.
Re-drawing your timeline at a later date and comparing the two can be fascinating. You notice how things move to the foreground and take on significance, and move into the background and seem less relevant. You find that new lessons emerge from old events when seen through different eyes.
Maintaining a sense of reflection over time, considering your life story, is valuable. It sets in perspective the events of the recent past, and enables pattern spotting and deeper consideration of your experience and who you decide to be.
Telling your story to others is informative, and not just to them. I am thankful for the opportunity to be meeting new people, and look forward to building strong and enduring relationships as time passes.