Inspiration can be found in the oddest places, especially in these days of the virus—I refuse to use its name any longer. For me, it came through Matthew McConaughey and his memoir Green Lights. I was first drawn to the title, then I opened the book. I buy a lot of books, but I don’t usually pay $30 for one, especially a memoir, but I’m so glad I did.
I’m currently working on a book about the role dysfunctional families have on children and how it changes their perspective on life. Basically, it changes who they are. But McConaughey has shown me we all have a power inside of us to overcome. He states he’s not, nor has he ever considered himself to be a victim. Wow! That’s powerful! This statement has me thinking about my own life, as well as the characters in my book.
Today I ran across this quote from his memoir regarding the process of elimination and identity.
“The first step that leads to our identity in life is usually not I know who I am, but rather I know who I’m not.Process of elimination.”
We spend so much time trying to define ourselves, we forget this simple truth. So, I decided to play with who I’m not.
- I’m not an Olympic athlete. When I earned my gold belt in Karate, my sensei said “to all things there is a time and a purpose.” Very appropriate because when he said to move left, I usually moved right. I’m super uncoordinated!
- I’m not a lawyer. I did work in a law firm and discovered a true love for the law, but not so much for the politics that goes with the profession.
- I’m not an engineer or a nurse; although I did spend some time majoring in those disciplines before finding my passion in English, writing in particular. One of my electives for my English degree is Chemistry.
- I’m not a spring chicken. For this I’m grateful because I’ve learned some great life lessons in my six decades on this earth.
Now that I’ve eliminated several of the major nots in my life, I refer back to McConaughey’s wisdom.
“Knowing who we are is hard. Eliminate who we’re not first, and we’ll find ourselves where we need to be.”
This is a simple truth. By discovering the nots, I have found a positive flow in my life for the person I am.
- I am the woman who raised three awesome children, who are now raising their children.
- I am a loyal and good friend to a few really good people.
- I am a writer; therefore, I’m an observer of life and nature.
- I am a wife to a wonderful man who has helped me figure it out along the way.
Matthew McConaughey has taught me to look to the green lights in my life. Embrace them and accept they and the red lights all created the woman I am today. I hope you find who you are through the elimination of the nots in your life. It’s empowering!