A long time ago I made a note in my phone about Russian nesting dolls. It was something in the moment that I related to and as most things go – I forgot about it.
But I looked back on that thought this weekend and felt inspired again. If you know anything about me – you know I love a good symbol.
While I can’t relate to the history of it necessarily – I like the idea of layers. It suggests an outer life and an inner life. Stages of time and growth. Things that you’ve discarded to get to a deeper more authentic self.
An outer life and an inner life
When I was younger I was much more shy. I forget about this because people do not see me this way now. In fact, recently I went to an appointment and the receptionist said something to the effect of “you had to have been in theater growing up” and I just smiled and didn’t correct her. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact for the first half of my life I hated reading out loud, got shaky/sweaty hands when having to give a spoken presentation and overall, just wanted to disappear. But I think what’s funny is that I was probably never the wallflower type. It was just the first layer in who I was to the world before shedding that and getting closer to who I truly was deep down.
Stages of time and growth
If you look at the traditional matryoshka doll, they are multiple sizes of the same exact female – the fact, the clothes, just gradually smaller. I’m not a mother, so I can’t relate to each of the tiny figurines being symbols of my fertility – but I can look at this as stages of time in both directions. Either, shedding layers of protection, former thinking, insecurities, etc and getting down to the core of who I am – or the reverse, being a child growing incrementally older and older and into my adult form. Both ways are pretty cool.
So what is the point of this?
I think so often the concept of progress and becoming who you are now – or still want to be can feel overwhelming. I’m sure there are many inspirational books on the topic as well. But simply taking a moment now and then to think about who you are today is just as inspiring. If you’re a great speaker now – were you always? If you are confident in your body – were you always? Gratitude isn’t always easy for me because I think I aspire to get somewhere I haven’t and forget where I’ve already gotten. But today I’m grateful for all the Jess’s I’ve shed to get to the one I am now.