Spirituality Magazine

The Secret Art of Reinventing Yourself

By Shrinkingthecamel

The Secret Art of Reinventing YourselfEighth grade is typically a harsh year, and mine was no exception. I was not the most athletically coordinated boy, which placed me firmly at the lowest ranking of the middle school echelon. Add to that my greasy hair, braces, and oversized, thick-lens eyeglasses, and you start to get a very sorry picture.

Thankfully, my nomadic family decided to temporarily move due to my father’s work situation. We rented out our house for one year and packed up to Michigan for ninth grade, where I was magically transformed: I sprouted up several inches, got my braces removed, joined the swim team, found better glasses, and most importantly, began to wash my hair.

When we returned back to my old school system for tenth grade, no one recognized me. I was able to start fresh as a confident new kid from out of town without the dork baggage.

At the time, I attributed the transformation mostly to good hygiene and a great shampoo, but what I really experienced was the secret art of reinventing myself. I was determined to erase the gawky kid and re-emerge as someone else entirely.

A similar reinvention phenomenon has also taken place several times during my adult career. Usually it was triggered by a narrow-minded superior who did not see the same future potential that I saw for myself. I’ll never forget one boss in particular, during a heartfelt discussion as I poured out my hopes and dreams of advancement: “You will never be promoted to Manager,” she snapped abruptly while sipping her coffee and glancing out the window. “You don’t have the right experience.” I left her office burning with indignation.

Instead of buying into her boss-imposed limitations, I fantasized of the day she would be reporting to me. “Sorry, Barbara,” I would say while attending to various papers on my desk. “I’m going to have to demote you again. Now get me another cup of coffee.”

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