Recently I listened to the newest episode of the Approachable Podcast (available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts) and it really got me thinking. Sam talked about a podcast episode which she listened to by Dr Phil where he talked about three types of external factors which determine you as a person, These are: defining moments, critical choices and pivotal people.
I am only 20 years old and yet I have made choices, had critical moments and people which have ended up setting me on the path I am on today. Now I won’t be able to give you all of the 10 moments, 7 choices and 5 people as I haven’t experienced it all yet but I can share what I have experienced up until now.
This is what Sam said about each factor in their podcast so that you know what I’m talking about (if you want to read the full theory by Dr Phil then you can read it here)
“10 defining moments “in every persons life there has been moments both positive and negative that have defined and redefined who you are, these events enter your consciousness with such power that they change the very core of who and what you were, a part of you had changed by these events and caused you to define yourself to some degree by your experiences of that event.”
“7 critical choices. There’s a surprisingly small amount of choices that rise to the level of life changing ones, critical choices are those that have changed your life positively or negatively and are major factors in determining who and what you’ll become. They are the choices that have affected your life up to today and have set you on a path.”
“5 pivotal people. These are the people who have left indelible impressions on your concept of self and therefore the life you live. They may be family members, friends or co-workers and their influences could be positive or negative. They’re people who determine whether you live consistently with your authentic self or instead live a counterfeit life controlled by a fictional self that has crowded out who you really are”
My defining moments so far:
My parents divorce and gaining a family from it
A big defining moment for me as a child was my parents divorcing and my mum ending up with a man with three children. These children would end up being my brothers of 10 years (so far) and I would also end up with a sister. I went from being an only child to a child of four and then 5 years later a child of 5. It was a big moment for me as I had to adapt to not being alone and learn how to live harmoniously with another family. This taught me so much and has given me three of my best friends in the world which I am so so grateful for. It has allowed me to become knowledgable on different family structures which overall helps me in my line of work which is Early Years.
First love and heartbreak
This defining moment comes in two parts: the falling in love and the inevitable heart break. If you’ve read my blog for a while now you may remember a post I did about my mental health journey (if you’re interested you can read it here), in this post I talked about a toxic relationship I was in and the effects it had on me. This relationship was a defining moment for me as it introduced me into the politics of love and relationships and it made me grow less naive to things. It matured me more than anything else could’ve. It showed me other people’s problems and that they can manipulate you in the name of love. That not everyone is kind and has good intentions, they can have selfish intentions even when they say they care about you. The infatuation was strong and the hold he had on me was stronger, it taught me so much and it lead to me meeting some of my pivotal people.
My dads illnesses
I’ve discussed the most recent events in my dads illness’ in my organ donation post (you can read that here). My dad has always been ill and that fact has always been a defining thing for me. The idea that I could lose him at any moment has defined me as a person in positive and negative ways. It has taught me to love and appreciate the people you love every second of everyday because time is finite and death is the only thing in life guaranteed. It has also shown me the works of the Lord as there has been about 4 separate events where we should’ve lost him and yet he’s still here. He has taught me so much and is my mentor in all aspects of life. His illness has broken my heart but his spirit has mended it.
My Nans passing
This is the hardest hitting defining moment so far in my 20 years of life, my Nan was my rock in all situations of life and her passing has really defined me. Much like my dad she was a mentor to me and has experienced so much in life that has taught me so many life lessons. Losing her really messed with my head because it felt like I was suddenly alone. Since I have less of a relationship with my mum, my Nan stepped up and supported me regardless of anything, then that was all gone. However now it’s been over a year I’ve started to just be grateful I had the time I had with her and that I had someone fighting my corner no matter what.
Losing my job
Losing my first proper and perfect job was one of the hardest things I had to come to terms with. It really was a kick to the confidence and also my mental health. I had a future there that I watched be snatched away from me, which broke my heart. It really effected me as I wanted to be there for as long as I could’ve but it wasn’t meant to be. Since then I’ve find a new and amazing job but it still hurts me. I wasn’t ready to let go and yet it still was taken. It was a defining moment as it showed me that I can’t tie my happiness and success into one place and that I have to be adaptable. It was His way of showing me I was too comfortable and wasn’t being humble enough to follow what was meant for me and instead I was aiming for what I wanted.
My critical choices so far:
Cutting ties with my ex.
This choice was one which was so hard because I was letting go of all that I had ended up knowing for 2 years and having to be alone with myself. It was hard because I had lost myself so much to keep him that I didn’t know how to be alone with myself because I didn’t know who I was anymore. When I made that decision I felt a rush of so many emotions because finally I was free. I was scared, sad, happy and relaxed for the first time in years. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because I realised in that moment how unhappy and unhealthy I had become.
Starting looking after the kids
This decision doesn’t seem like much for someone on the outside however it was absolutely life changing for me. First of all I met these incredible kids who are now my family and have taught me so much about myself. Secondly they showed me a path in life I wanted to walk down which I was searching so desperately for. Lastly they have helped me prove myself and my worth to someone who has torn down everything decision I’ve ever made for myself. Taking this job had its downfalls but it helped me with my feelings of being lost and uselessness as it gave me a true purpose. This job allowed me to believe in myself and aim for something I know I am good at.
Going against the grain and choosing college
Similarly to getting my job with the kids, my choice to not go to uni like my family had decided for me (if you want to find out more in depth about that you can read that post here) was one which was controversial and could fall flat on its face. It caused strains between me and certain family members as they were recruited to talk me out of it. It made me feel like I was doing something awful when I was just doing something for myself. I was put down for it because it was deemed as below my worth by others. However it fucking paid off. I decided to peruse my career in Early Years and if I’m honest I’m pretty fucking good at it. It got me an amazing job in a nursery and it’s also got me my dream job now working for a company which can help me progress wherever I need to go in life.
My pivotal people
As previously mentioned by Nan has always been a huge role model to me and she was one of my pivotal people. She taught me about self confidence, showed me how she spoke out against the world for what was right and showed me fierce love and loyalty. This sort of person is so valuable and irreplaceable but I am so lucky and grateful to have had that for 20 years. She has taught me how to be the figurehead of a family successfully and support people in a way in which is unapologetic.
My dad is another pivotal person because he is my best friend. He is somebody who I could talk to everyday and never get bored of. He supports me in so many ways and even has my back when I fuck up. Like his incredible mother, his loyalty and love is fierce and true. He teaches me so much and also wants to learn from me too. He is just amazing and I cannot ever give him enough back to thank him. He’s an honorary father to others and cares more about the world and its people than anybody I know.
My cousin is truly my best friend, we are two halves of a whole idiot and I wouldn’t trade that for ANYTHING. When all the shit went down with my ex she was the one there for me despite the fact we hadn’t really spoken for 5 years. She had my back straight away and we just keep getting closer and closer. She has truly changed the way I think and act because she is so inherently good and such a Libra. She always gets me to see things from another angle which my Taurus self wouldn’t and even if I’m making the wrong decision she still supports me and even bails me out of it. A pivotal person who I will take with me through all seasons of my life. 5ever.
Lets see if I can write this without crying okay..if you have read my A Prayer For The Love of My Life post then you’ll have seen the love I have for Jack. You’ll know that he saved me from a dark dark situation and he manages to keep me above water when there’s a big storm. He keeps me right and loves me in a way I’ve never been loved. He is the down to earth and realistic person I need to balance my extremities. He is a pivotal person because he is the good that came out of the shittiest time in my life, he changed the way I see relationships and love. He changed the way I speak to people and the way I see people. He’s defied the odds time and time again and he never fails to gain respect from me.
This episode of Approachable has really made me think and reflect on my life and how far I have come. It has shown me how everything happens for a reason and why things happen the way in which they do. I hope that this has helped you think about your journey and your strength on that journey. If you’d like to do a similar post or want to share an experience down below then please do I would love to see others response to this.
Thank you so much for reading today and I hope to see you around these parts again soon!