This week we had our first snowfall of winter 2015, and it was BIG!
We had two days where the temperature didn’t peak over 3degrees celsius, as snow fell almost to sea level blanketing everything in crisp white. Roads were closed, kids made snowmen in their back yards, keen snowboarders hiked the local resorts to claim their first turns of the season – in APRIL!
I had the opportunity to go and claim my April Turns badge with a friend, but chose to stay home and let him go on alone…an interesting decision for an unemployed snowbunny!
So why did I do it?
Interestingly enough it wasn’t because I didn’t want to feel the snow under my board. It also wasn’t because I couldn’t be bothered trudging up the side of a hill…
I decided not to go snowboarding because being a snowboarder doesn’t define me.
Content at home sipping tea and crocheting, I was thoroughly enjoying a day away from my computer flexing the creative side of my brain and making something pretty damn awesome while I was at it – and as exciting as the idea of going snowboarding was, completing my headband was way more important to me!
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot on who I am and what I am doing with my life, and don’t get me wrong snowboarding is still WAY up there when it comes to things I love doing, but I also want to pursue other things that light me up. Things that I could spend hours doing without realising how much time has gone by. Things that pique my curiosity and innate desire to learn, create and grow.
Almost all of those things still connect back to my love for snowboarding.
Crocheting cosy hats, headbands and gloves for winter.
Drawing, painting & typography often inspired by mountains.
Learning to sew and playing with patterns for neck-warmers and thermals.
Writing for my blog and connecting with other girls who ride.
Baking tasty treats and learning to be a better cook – ok that’s less inspired by snowboarding but hey I am a little bit excited about being a good ‘house wife’!
As I look around I see people defining themselves by their jobs or their passions. Labelling themselves as one thing or other, ignoring the fact that they are far more than a chef or teacher; house wife or entrepreneur; snowboarder or skier. For my entire life I have defined myself as a snowboarder and all of a sudden I realised I don’t want to be ‘just’ a snowboarder, or ‘just’ ANYTHING for that matter!
I want to be Jaime.
In all of my multi-passionate, imperfectly awesome glory!
I wholeheartedly believe that we can be, or do anything – so long as it’s what we want and so long as we are prepared to work for it. So why do we all keep putting ourselves into these convenient little boxes??
Because it’s easier that way.
Recently when asked what I like doing besides snowboarding, I sheepishly answered that I also enjoyed crochet and baking, and quickly added that it probably sounded a bit ‘nanna-ish’. As I kid I remember getting teased for enjoying school, so I stopped doing my best work and started talking back to teachers to regain my uber-important street cred. I’m certain that if you sat back and thought about it, you will have also been conditioned by a bunch of kids that there were parts of yourself that were better off being kept to yourself so it couldn’t be used against you.
We can pick and chose the word that we use to define ourselves, and in doing so we can ignore all of the parts of ourselves that we maybe don’t like so much. Shining a light on our ‘favourite’ aspect of ourselves keeps everything else hidden in the shadows, away from prying eyes that might turn those things against us.
It is SAFE to define ourselves to others with a label, when exposing our fullest, true self often leads to pain and hurt. Early in life we learn to hide certain things from others, or to diminish ourselves simply because not everyone will ‘get’ us.
If you take a close look at it now you will probably also see that you are defining yourself with differents label depending on who you’re talking to, and yet you find no need to define yourself at all to the people you love and trust most.
Then I want you ask yourself, why you use labels and put yourself into a box when there are people on this earth that love you for who you truly are…even if you secretly love hanging out in your pjs with your cats and whipping up an incredible cake just because.
Let’s start embracing EVERYTHING that makes us who we are.
Let’s stop hiding parts of ourselves from the world.
Let’s stop defining ourselves with silly labels!
Just to hit it home I want you to know that sure, I love to snowboard, but I am not just a snowboarder. I can be quite happy with my own company but I am not only an introvert. There is so much more to every single one of us than a simple, neat little label could ever convey. Next time you meet someone take the time to let them know the real you. Instead of saying something like “Hi, I’m Jaime & I’m a snowboarder”, why not try “Hey, I’m Jaime! I love to snowboard and travel the world to ride different mountains and meet awesome people. I’m also quite partial to sipping tea at home getting caught up in some sort creative project. What do you love doing?”
I would absolutely love to know what labels you are going to drop, and which parts of yourself you are ready to embrace, so drop me a comment below!
PS – If you haven’t already joined us in the Sanctuary by signing up for my mailing list, it’s time you got involved! Especially since signing up gets you a free copy of my eBook, From Fear to Fearlessness, which may help you overcome fear and shift some of your labels!!