When i was a kid i liked to pretend that my life started over every Monday morning. That all I desired to become would turn into reality just because a new week was beginning.
This was my biggest secret, which I am sharing for the first time now, with all of you. I used to dress with my coolest outfit, arrange my hair to look good, wash my teeth and tick every other ritual I could picture the best version of myself doing on a Monday morning. I used to be very careful with the way I ate, and tried my best to do it in an elegant manner, the kind that gets you to chew your food 20 times before you swallow it, doubled by the effort of trying not to spill anything on myself or on anything around me. I went to school on my best behavior, with my backpack in perfect order and wrote all the lessons in a spotless calligraphy. I analysed the way I walked and what I was going to say next, because I aspired to elegance, and back then, movement and words were my most relevant examples of that.
I guess you could say I had a light form of OCD, but the way I see it, it was something closer to perfectionism as a disorder, doubled by the belief that change can be triggered just by starting fresh. And starting fresh, back then, was as easy as starting a new week. Predictably, I used to get very disappointed with myself by Monday afternoon, and spent the following days wishing it was Monday morning all over again.
As I grew older, I gave up on Mondays, mostly because I was tired of repeated failure and also because I started seeing new opportunities for starting fresh. Much faster and much more achievable ones. Like getting a new haircut. Or buying a new outfit. A fresh new look made me believe that I was a new person. Until the next day, when I woke up with messy hair, I could not wear my not so new outfit again and the rest of my clothes were still the ones I got when my big sister grew out of them.
I tried starting fresh by starting new school years, and my efforts lasted pretty much until the day I got discouraged by my first small grade, which was never too far away.
I tried change when moving with my family to a new apartment, which happened a lot back then; but regardless of the place I lived in, nothing in me was satisfactory different. I tried new friends, new schools, new eye glasses. I tried doing daily abs by starting from 10 and adding one every day. I got to doing 130 abs every day but all I really got was tired of it. I tried the cabbage soup diet when I was 14 and dropped it when I puked my guts out on day 5. I never tried diets again. No matter how hungry for change I was.
As I got older I changed jobs and careers all together. And although I never stopped looking for change, I stopped believing I will find it in a new outfit, a new home or a new Monday.
As I look back, I realize that the biggest changes in my life were not the ones I expected to happen the next day, nor the ones I wrote on my New Year Resolutions list.
The most significant changes in my life were the ones I barely felt happening: becoming really good at something, learning new skills, making new friends, moving on after breakups, reading (a lot), seeing new places and looking at myself in the mirror. I learned that any real change takes time, even if eventually, it does happen on a Monday.
… to be continued.