Alison Garwood Jones

Where we belong

June 16, 2010


Mini MeThat’s me, age 6, in my dad’s office squeaking up a storm with some markers on the backside of a blueprint (he’s an architect). Look how shiny my hair is.

Of the hundreds of photos I have of myself — goofing around with friends, smiling for the school photographer or posing in front of a fountain in an Italian piazza — this one, snapped by my dad, stands out because it captures the essence of who I am, and have always been.

All the things I was instinctively drawn to as a girl — paper, pens, quiet work spaces and imaginary flights — have travelled with me through four decades of living. My blueprint now may be tilted up and backlit (read: my laptop), but I’m still applying myself with the same joyful intensity. That consistency is reassuring to me.

Penelope Trunk, one of my favourite bloggers, wrote a post last year called, “Why you already know what you should be doing next.” Penelope writes about careers and life, and here’s what she said,

Look at what you were doing when you were a kid. Nothing changes when you grow up except that you get clouded vision from thinking about what you SHOULD do — to be rich, or successful, or to please your parents or peers … the possibilities are endless. I think that you can figure out who you are and what you should be doing by telling yourself the stories of your childhood.

[pullquote]The things you look back on most fondly speak volumes about where you belong now.[/pullquote]

What were you up to when you were six?  Were you taking apart computers?  Cutting up dresses? Running around brushing everyone’s hair?  Now what are you doing? Are you being consistent?


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