I am a tattooed law student that secretly dreams of owning a restaurant. I love ballet and I often listen to Creed while I’m driving.
Let’s do it again; I am a New Zealand citizen, who was born on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific and grew up in Los Angeles California.
Well I’ll be.
I have 101 different parts to who I am. It has taken some time, but I’ve learned to really roll with that. I know some people kind of have one dominant side to them. Like have you ever met someone and just been like, yeah you are totally an engineer, or totally a hippie, or totally meant to be a hairdresser. You know? Some people just have a personality that is almost made to be a certain thing. Don’t get me wrong though, I am sure they too have little quirks about their personality; like the hippie who is into death metal, or the engineer that also likes playing the violin.
But then there are people who have a personality that is kind of, I don’t know, wandering. I think that is in and of itself a personality trait, but I just mean that some people have a personality that is made of up extremely contrasting talents, interests and passions.
I have one of those personalities. I have one of those hearts.
And oh what a mess it has been! It has taken a lot of soul searching, but I have finally gotten to a point where I feel like I have tamed these different parts of myself. More than that, I feel as though I have really learned how to allow each part of myself to have a chance at thriving.
However, it has been an odd road.
If you would have told the hippie 16 year old me that one day I would be covered in tattoos, she would have nodded and thought, ‘oh yeah, that sounds about right.’
If you told that same young hippie that one day I would be graduating law school with a passion for legal arguments, writing and research, she would have looked at you like you were batshit crazy.
And really, the reason a younger me would have looked at you funny is not because I didn’t think law was cool, it was just that a younger me didn’t know that I had personality fit for law.
See I was always open to different things. But I think sometimes we grow up with the idea that we are supposed to have only one dominant side of us. Like, okay, if I am a hippie then I guess I am a hippie for life.
But in reality, I was never really a hippie – I just had a free spirit. And I still have that same free spirit to this day. And that is a great part of me! It ensures that I travel and experience life to the fullest. It allows me to take a step back and appreciate the world around me.
But it is not the only part of me.
I discovered along the way that I loved the law. I mean absolutely 360 degrees away from being a hippie (even though I’m pleased to say that a lot of lawyers I know started their youth as hippies – friendly fact!) – but that didn’t mean that my hippie spirit was suddenly gone. Actually, quite the opposite, university makes your brain alive with a buzz of freedom – if anything it is a time where you are the most free!
So, I was left with this rather puzzling set of parts to my personality.
Add to that, I am an island girl. My parents live on an island that takes 45 minutes to drive around. They crack coconuts from their garden and don’t really ever have to wear proper clothes (even though they sometimes do).
I identify with my heritage greatly, but it was an odd mix with my California upbringing. I mean even though they both revolve around the beach, they do it in pretty different ways.
And a lot of these mixes got me really stumped. Like; am I the island girl or am I the Californian girl. What happens when I add New Zealand into the mix? Am I the free spirit or am I the rational and static legal mind that can persuade a court room of my series of events? Am I the island princess by the sea or the lawyer in the suit before the court room?
And let’s add a few more components; I love cooking. When I was 7 I used to watch the Food Network channel on repeat. I love watching dishes being made and I love cooking them! I dream of owning my own restaurant one day. I adore ballet. Ever since I was little, I absolutely adore it. From the poise, to the music to the shoes. I think it is wonderful.
Suffice it to say at this point, I have all these different contrasting parts of myself and for a lot of my life I found it really difficult to understand which one was supposed to ‘win.’
It’s taken me a good amount of time to realize that none of them are supposed to. And maybe at some points in my life certain parts will be stronger than others; maybe certain parts will have the floor longer than others, maybe some of those passions and interests will fall by the wayside; maybe I’ll grow old a lawyer with a hippie heart; maybe I won’t.
I have no idea what the answer is. All I know is that it doesn’t pay to try and silence any of these parts of who you are.
I know sometimes it may seem like we are only ever supposed to be interested or good at, or meant for, one real thing in life – and if we aren’t then what the heck will become of us. For some people they are borne to be what they become, and that’s awesome. For others – you just have to do you.
And I think either way, whether you have one or a hundred, this is a beautiful thing. The real important part is having passions and interests; having things in life that you are good at and which make you feel alive; having parts of you that you identify with; that make you feel special!
Being YOU is what is special. And if that just so means that you are a chef by day and erotic dancer by night – all the freakin power to you. The worst thing we can do in life is try and silence who we are. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; silencing ourselves only turns the volume up on who we are meant to be. Running from ourselves or trying to mute out parts of who we are doesn’t bring us any closer to fulfilment, or happiness (whatever that is) or being more ourselves. It just takes time away from doing the things that just so happen to make us happen, that interest us or that we are passionate about.
And I think there is another HUGE part about this whole having different parts of ourselves. The thing about not letting each part of us have a voice is that we start to become non-authentic pieces of ourselves. We can’t be whole without our parts; therefore, every part needs a voice for our own to be truly authentic and our own.
And really, I think the real hard part is letting all of my passions have a voice. That’s the real hard part. But that’s for another day.
For now; stay wild, young, old, passionate, rational, eager, dreaming;
Stay you. No matter how many parts of you there are; stay you.