When I was little my first interests were building mud pies, cooking grass stew, walking along Highland Canal off Panama Drive, and eating.
These interests moved on to window shopping, avoiding ridicule and punishment, reading and eating.
College found my interests to be eating, friends, boys, and biochemistry.
Young adulthood found me interested in flying, neurotrauma nursing, and home building.
All my previous interests led me to marriage and childrearing which dominated my adult years for the next two decades.
Persistent areas of interest that have morphed over my lifetime:
- examining different ways to be a nurse
- reading for enjoyment and learning
- sewing clothes and costumes for necessity and then quilts for pleasure
- Learning brain anatomy and physiology and how they are altered by trauma to learning about psychology and how the brain directs our actions
- Eating whatever was there or tasted good to eating for my health and bodily needs
- Wanting more stuff to wanting less stuff
- Ignoring the need to have my own purpose in life and following the dictates of “others” to examining myself, my values, my purpose
- Keeping blinders on to everything except my wants to knowing when to not wear blinders and when to put them back on
- Exercising in a gym to long walks in nature
How did my interests develop?
What was it about each interest that gained my attention?
What interests have I enjoyed my entire life?
Reading. Learning. Psychology. Behavior. Food. Nature.
What about these interests makes them enduring for me?
- Food = comfort, activity
- Reading = escape
- Learning = entertainment and growth
- Psychology = understanding motivation and anticipating direction
- Behavior = clarity and acceptance
- Nature = connection and silence
Mostly my interests are gentle and rarely involve failure. Some of my interests have forced me to face a fear. Learning to fly a plane and doing my first solo flight despite a fear of failure and death upon take off. Changing nursing careers despite the fear of failure in starting over without the support of co-workers. Moving away from home across the country to another culture, fearing for two years I had made a huge mistake. Recently I faced a fear that I do not count as a human.
This past year I have realized I do count just because I am. Each person counts as they are just because they are. I don’t need to agree with who others are but I need to agree with who I am.
What a relief! Upon reflection I see where my interests have taken me. They have been the expression of my values to myself, that what I do counts to myself and that is enough:)