Becoming vs. Being

This evening after work, I sat on my kitchen counter and ate cranberry bread. It’s one of my bad habits. The counter, not the bread. While I ate my snack like a small child, two things caught my attention.

First, this note on my fridge. I wrote it a month or so ago in one of my more frustrated moments. Today, it made me realize that I am always trying to become something else. First I was a college kid wanting to become an adult, then an analyst hoping to become a teacher, and now a teacher wishing to become a novelist. It hit me, when I am I ever just going to be?

That’s when my eyes were drawn to my bookshelf that is messily filled with too many things. All those eclectic books and pictures are my life. Each title and each smiling face a different part of me. Another metaphor staring me in the face. A life that is already enough if I stop to pay attention.

Maybe bookshelves are the real windows to the soul…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop working toward that goal on the fridge, but I also need to recognize that even if I already were a full-time novelist, there would always be something else to become. If we don’t stop to be, life will pass us by…

Lately I have slowed things down, which means a more gradual approach to this becoming business. In some ways, this is hard because it feels like I am accomplishing a lot less. In others, it is allowing me to be the more balanced person I have already worked so hard to become.

Are you good at being? Tonight I am collecting secrets.

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7 thoughts on “Becoming vs. Being

  1. Katie Cook says:

    this is absolutely SO true girl! life can pass us by if we are constantly striving for the next thing, instead of just resting in the present!! you are so cute!

  2. kingmidget says:

    Well said … I to want to “become” a full-time novelist. You know what scares me about it? What if, even if I have all that time to write, I spend it just as distracted as I do my currently limited time to write? 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Based on my experiences over my teaching breaks, the distractions are still there but you have enough time to make up for it. I got a lot done those weeks, which is what makes it so hard to go back to work at the end… So, I think there’s hope for us yet!

      • kingmidget says:

        Just for the record, I’m pretty sure we’re twins separated by 20 years or so. This post is a perfect example of something I have struggled with most of my life. I’ve always looked at it as how I plan for tomorrow instead of enjoying today. My dad used to tell me as a young lad that I needed to stop wishing my life away as I constantly wished for the things that were to come. As a man now approaching the magic number of 50, I’m still doing it. Always thinking about what is to come how I wish I could do this and do that. Becoming instead of being. Sigh. It’s time for me to watch a fifth grader’s basketball game.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Funny how so many of us share the same feelings– I was the same as a child. I was always thinking about the next thing. I’m grateful this blog world exists to share these experiences. It helps me slow down and reflect. I’m sure having your sons must help you slow down, too. Kids are good for that. 🙂

  3. […] It’s time for me to figure out some of the mysteries of my life.  Olivia O’Bryon wrote about the difference between becoming and being.  It does a good job of describing my dilemma.  […]

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