Do you ever have moments where you are talking to someone and they unknowingly say something that blows your mind and makes you think long after the conversation ends. That happened to me this week. On a beautiful day in Montreal, a few friends and I went to the park to get a bit of sun and fresh air. As we were talking about life and catching up, one of them said “You know, life is about having the same conversations over and over again at different ages”.
It has been a week since she said that, and I am still unpacking the depth of that remark. I was struck by how true simple but true it was. Since we are young, we all have been having certain basic conversations over and over again. We have talked about politics, friendships, society, parents, life and much more since were kids. The only difference is our life experience.
I enjoy listening to my young nieces talk to their friends or even just talking to them because at such a young age I can see that the conversation has already began. I overheard them talk about their teachers at school, their friends, their favorite subjects, colors, what they want to be when they grow up. These are pretty much the same conversations I have with my friends, whether it’s about school or work or what I am trying to achieve in the coming years.
These same conversations are a very important tool as they are society’s way of shaping and programming our minds. The topics of conversations are not the same in all place, for all genders, for all races and so on. Through different activities designed by society, the topics of our recurring conversations are shaped early in life and done in a way that is made for us to conform to societies rules. As stereotypical as it is, I remember playing house with my girl friends and the boys would play a running game where they would pretend to be thieves and cops chasing each other. It is easy to deduce that the conversations that came out of those experiences growing up have shaped all of us differently, to say the least.
But I think it is bigger than that, the same way we have the same conversations we have with others over and over again, we do the same with ourselves. As we grow up and experience life on our own, there are always a series of conversations, questions that we constantly ask ourselves. They come in the form of doubts, confusion and observations. In my experience, it is not only the questions but how we shape them that affects the outcome.
Depending on what we have experienced in life, our outlook on these conversations is going to change, or at least I hope they change. As the conversations remain the same, it is clear that what really matters is our evolving perspectives. Our ability to learn through trial and error is something we often take for granted but that highly contributes to our survival. Society has an unreasonable expectation from us, we are expected to know “the right way” without trying different things first or by simply “trusting” someone else’s.
As you have these recurring conversations, with yourself or with others, may they bring you closer to your true self and your calling, regardless of whether you are conforming to society’s rules.