We can get so bogged down in our own little bubbles and our own problems that we can no longer see what’s really important. My biggest fear after I was married and had a baby, was that I would somehow loose myself. Although I always wanted a family, I always wanted to make sure I never lost my sense of self. A sense of who I am and never loose sight of the things that I find interesting.
Sometimes we have to step back, take a breath and rediscover what brings you joy. Here are 5 ways that have changed my perspective and made me think differently about myself or others.
- Visit a new place– This may sound obvious, but so many of us spend most of our time at a few familiar places. Living in a big city a few years back, I realized that I spent most of my time in a small segment of that city. I rarely visited other areas of the city. Just getting out and to exploring your own city and/or state gives you a sense of how small your corner of the world is. You can discover a new restaurant or a new shop just miles from your home and you feel as if you’ve gone on an adventure. I always return home refreshed and excited to have discovered something new close to home.
2. Check out a festival – Ok, maybe I’m a nerd….but I love a festival. I have a good friend that will get excited about festivals as much I as will. My husband doesn’t care for festivals, so it makes for some fun girl time with my friends. I have gone to Oktoberfest (in my own city), Greek Festivals, Pow Wows, Persian Festivals, Divwali…… you name it. There is traditional clothing, foods, music….whats not to like? For me, attending a festival offers a sense of how big the world is and how people do things differently. They offer a fun and inviting opportunity to have a peek into another culture.
3. Chuch?! – This may sound strange. Religion plays a major part in the lives of many of our fellow men and women. I have taken a friend up on attending their church. I have also visited other places of worship that are no where near my personal faith. Its fascinating to observe how others practice their particular religion and to see the inside of their houses of worship. Now, I am not suggesting that you do anything that you feel uncomfortable doing or anything that may be against your particular faith. But a little understanding of others goes a long way to decreasing ignorance and fears of people that are different from us.
4. Ancestry Research– Knowing what your ancestors before you had to overcome for you to be where you are today is a big eye opener. Of course, we learned about certain people in history, but when you are looking at the stories and/or memorabilia of your family, it becomes real. Searching out our past often makes our problems suddenly appear small. I love to hear stories from my grandmother or search for information about my ancestors online. It gives me a renewed sense of who I am.
5. Go abroad! Study abroad, live abroad, take a tour of some country outside of your own! Works like a charm every time 🙂 I can not say enough about travel. If more Americans travel abroad, you would get a better sense of the world. It is very hard to really know anything about another country from the outside looking in. We can have a very negative view about a place from just seeing it on the news or tv shows. Get out and see for yourself!