A well-conceived electrical plan is what makes a house shine, quite literally. Maybe that house has loads of character, good bones and a fabulous design, but who would know this if you can’t see it – if its most excellent features aren’t highlighted? With this notion top of mind, I went about the job of deciding exactly how our lovely old home should be lit.
For several days I researched and studied the home’s architecture, envisioning how I would re-interpret its interior decor for the way we live. We walked room by room where walls have been stripped bare of out-of-date outlets, wiring and fixtures – rooms which now patiently await a grand plan that will allow them to carry on a bright, new life in a modern world.
Perhaps there comes a time when we too are like this lovely, old home finding ourselves out of date, out of touch or generally stale. That point where we ask ourselves, what now? What is our grand plan to carry on in a new, modern world?
The question came about in my life two years ago. There wasn’t a definitive answer, but rather a decision to be open to anything. That anything turned out to be school.
A full year was spent learning new skills and pushing myself to new limits – mentally and physically. I discovered I was a tough, old broad afterall. Then I graduated.
As a student we are protected, guided. There are classmates, counselors and instructors that provide support. In the real world, it takes time to develop this infrastructure – it’s downright scary. All winter I struggled to answer the question again, what now? I’ve tried new things, crawled back home and vowed not to try anything new ever again, kicked myself in the butt for being a coward, tried new things again…..
I’ve done an exhaustive search on what exactly is required to reinvent oneself, thinking perhaps I’ve missed a step. I read everything I could find on what makes us humans happy. Finally, what resonated for me was a quote by Abraham Maslow, “What a man can be, he must be.”
Maslow, an American psychologist, used this line when describing a person’s perceived need for self-actualization – the desire for self-fulfillment, to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be. It was not Maslow’s view that self-actualization determined one’s life; rather, he felt it gave the individual a desire, or motivation to achieve budding ambitions.
This gave me comfort and a bit of confidence to once again strike out on new adventures. It gave me the courage to do something with the skills I have learned.
Still, it’s scary to try new things. But to grow, we must risk being vulnerable. It is this process of risk, growth and self-actualization that makes us truly shine; to be the best we can be, and ultimately happy.
And, if this lovely old home could speak, I feel certain she would tell us she feels naked, scared and vulnerable. I would tell her to be patient and brave. When the plan has been fully executed, her light will once again shine bright – quite literally.