It’s another October and my birthday has come to pass. I recall when I was turning 30, I wrote a blog post about how I am no longer adding things on a “to-be list”, but rather things I want to undo… I didn’t have the concept of ‘unlearning’ in my vocabulary or my mind yet. That blog seems a bit foretelling now. Perhaps we really should be careful with our declarations; since then I have been in a loop of unlearning.
This year I officially checked off 34 and started the 35th trip around the sun. All I can think of is what I’d like to re-learn given all the unlearning I have done and continue to do.
The truth is, I’ve been doing the bare minimum for the past two years; for the most part, I’ve just been trying to survive my own mind.
I can hear someone say “Hmm na your own bare minimum this?” And the answer is yes. I know what I’m capable of, what I can do when I feel driven when I believe it matters, when I believe I matter… I’ve not done close to that in a while. Perhaps it’s the burnout from years of hardcore mode (actually, this is very likely it). But knowing you’re burned out doesn’t make you feel better about being unproductive.
The past 2 years have been some of my most unproductive. I’m not saying this as a “humble brag”. I know some people won’t get it, and I know my sister-friends will be like “You’re too hard on yourself Monique” and perhaps they’re right, but I’m also thinking critically 🤷🏾♀️
And if I’m being very honest anything I’ve enjoyed from March 2021 till date is somehow the fruit of the work I did in my 20s.
I’ve been saying ‘thank you’ to the version of Monique who did so much in her 20s that this version of Monique can get away with doing so little in her 30s. But it’s a bittersweet thank you because despite all that version did she couldn’t fix some major issues…
And now 2 years out of my ‘top form’, I’m wondering:
As I consider how much I have to be grateful to younger Monique, I am considering what I should be relearning as much as I unlearn. So that older Monique will be able to say similar “thanks” for the current version of me in future.
Here’s my shortlist of things I must re-learn:
1. I must re-learn reading for fun of it.
2. I must re-learn imagination without restrictions; such as how it never bothered me that ever character in my favorite version of Cinderella was a different race. Such as how I loved watching “The Magic School Bus”
3. I must re-learn asking for help and expecting it to come
4. I must re-learn curiosity about who I am and who I want to be, what makes me fun
5. And I must re-learn the novelty of dreaming… asking myself again “who do I want to be when I grow up?”
What made me lose these things, growing up? How then do I “grow down”?