“We don’t really learn anything properly until there is a problem, until we are in pain, until something has failed to go as we hoped. Though we can, of course, use our minds without being in pain… we become properly inquisitive only when distressed. We suffer, therefore we think and we do so because thinking helps us to place pain in context.” — Marcel Proust, according to Alain de Botton.
You could make the same argument with identity, that is, you don’t really know who you are until your identity has been challenged. It’s easy for a mother, a wife, a doctor, or a writer to declare who they are, but once your motherhood or wifeliness has been taken away, what are you left with? Who are you? It’s been my experience that when how you see yourself is questioned, you burn red-black hot or forge something new, maybe both, in that order.
Getting fired from a job that trained me to possess it body and soul was not supposed to happen. It was my down-on-my-knees moment. And while I can’t say, “I’m glad it happened”, I can say, I learned a great deal about myself, which for a person who values self-development, is mighty important.
👉 On Gumroad: audiobook + free PDF version of the book
🌟 Coming soon, my second book tentatively titled Misfortune Cookie, about family, being a first-generation American, and discovering home is a journey.
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