This is me; Rosie Lewis, blogger, theatre maker, over-thinker, allergic to nuts, has a tendency to fall over.
In all honesty, I quite like the woman I’ve become. She’s intelligent, creative, kind-hearted, and loyal. She’s a great cook, can sing you a nice song, and will offer to proofread your essays. The woman I’ve become may lack physical balance, and emotional control, but she loves and cares fiercely, which I think makes up for it. I like to think that teenage Rosie would look at this woman and think ‘well, she’s not the worst’. Teenage Rosie wouldn’t like my sense of style (“midi-skirts are awful”), or my career goals (“running a business and lecturing? What happened to acting?”), or my Harry Potter house (“Hufflepuff? What?! We’re a Gryffindor!”). But, she’d respect my music taste and my ethics, and would like the fact I am rather independent. I like that. I quite like me.
But, that doesn’t stop me being disappointed. You see, I’m not yet the woman I want to be. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very proud of who I have become, but I get caught up by the thought of who I could be. I want to be fitter, I want to read more, I want to play my instruments, I want to take better care of myself, I want to learn languages – the list could go on and on. When I think of those things and the disparity between who I am now, and who I want to be, I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt, and sometimes even sickness. To throwback to A-Level Psychology and Carl Rogers, there’s some distance between my real self and my ‘ideal self’.
It’s very easy to get swallowed up by the thought of the ‘ideal self’; spending hours planning how I can reach those fitness goals, making reading lists, researching and writing. Sometimes, I get so swallowed up by these thoughts that it becomes all-consuming and I slip down a dark hole. But I’ve come across a quote, one that I will say every time I start to think of my real self in a negative way; “I am a work of art and a work in progress”. Yes, yes I am! I am a glowing, vibrant, and complete work of art, like a golden Klimt. But, parts of me are the beginner’s sketches, are to be painted over and started anew, are works of art only halfway through the painting process. I can be all of those and more, and that is okay. I am proud of the woman I have become, and I am on the journey to being the woman I want to be. I can be both a work of art and a work in progress, and that is absolutely fine.