A few years ago I came across a theory that seemed like it might be fun to try and apply to my life. The theory stated that we are the culmination of the five people that we spend the most time with. Okay, I thought, this sounds straightforward, I know who these people are! So I began
1) My daughter. I see her as a wonderful cadence of creativity, inspiration, adventure and laughter. I knew that she also had a hard time, not by not being able to state her wants, but she has a hard time is accepting things that were out of her control.
Hmm, I thought, this could be slightly deeper than initially anticipated.. so I continued
2) My Mum. My Mum is a woman of intense fortitude, resilience and strength. She is compassionate, kind, resourceful and ever supportive. She also judges herself really harshly and doesn’t always state her wants clearly (this stating and getting was becoming something of a theme..) which can give her a tendency to criticise.
3) My friend Robert. Robert is exuberant, noisy, supportive, vain, is able to retain much knowledge but also is often entirely crippled by insecurity, anxiety and self-esteem issues. He hates asking for things but has a massive heart. He finds ‘unfunctional touch’ uncomfortable and doesn’t like my cat (likely related to the previous point).
4) My friend Maggie. Maggie owns her own house, has her own income and works in the creative sector. She mostly always seems to be somehow on edge and anticipates the very worst outcomes in many situations. She is kind, generous and talented.
5) My friend Kate. Kate is married (curiously the only one out of my ‘top five’ who is), has a dog (who I also get on well with) and is entirely beautiful. She is innovative with her children, she is courageous and her tenacity is almost unbelievable at times. I sometimes wonder where she gets all her energy from.
After some curious digesting of this information, it occurred to me that I was neither fully playing to my strengths or acknowledging my weaknesses. Everyone we encounter likely has something to offer us, even if only through their indifference. But the people who truly inspire us, or aggravate us or a host of other stronger emotions, these are the people we need to watch, these are the people through which we can learn most about ourselves.
My journey begins.