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Honestly, this kind of messes me up every time I think about it. But I also think it’s true so just roll with me here.
You’re functionally a new person every time you meet someone.
If this is your first time reading my work then, hey, congrats on the new you.
New situations, new people
You’ve probably heard this a million times: you can’t step in the same river twice.
Because its water is constantly flowing, the river is constantly becoming a new version of itself.
But, surprise, time is a river. And, as a limited and mortal being, your time. You’re constantly evolving, buffeted and changed by everything you encounter.
People accept this in a limited way: the version of you at work is different to the you at home is different to the you when you’re just with friends. You flex different muscles, feel different feelings.
Those differences extend to every single moment of your life.
Your “you” is a never-ending collaboration
Every time you meet someone new, or enter into a new situation, you can become a different version of yourself. You’re constantly redefining yourself, bringing everything that came before to a new place and shaping it (or abandoning it) anew.
That’s magical (and exhausting).
It doesn’t mean people define you, though. Here’s how Kae Tempest describes it in their book On connection:
No one really cares about what you said or how you said it. They are all too busy agonising over what they said or how they said it. Even if they’re online ripping the shit out of you for what you said or how you said it, it’s really themselves they’re angry at and besides, other people’s opinions do not define you. What defines you? The very moment that you find yourself in.
You’re collaborating with the moment.
You can do it in partnership – working with it to build a new sense of yourself – or in opposition, rejecting certain parts of the moment and defining yourself against it. But, no matter what, something new is emerging (even if it’s slight or subtle).
That’s why approaching life with honesty and sincerity is so powerful. You’ll spot opportunities to grow everywhere you look (whether you like it or not, really) – doing so with an open heart and mind will help you make the most of them.
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