I’m sure I’ve seen Stepbrothers once or twice in my lifetime, but Brittney Ledford, the owner of One Sweet Kitchen, has that movie memorized. When introducing herself and her delicious cookies, she shared her favorite movie quote and mantra “Don't lose your dinosaur”. This quote is so impactful that she tattooed a brontosaurus on her foot and named him Ralph. Now, Ralph is with her everywhere, a daily reminder that her dinosaur is by her side. When I asked this brand new business owner what her dinosaur was, she responded simply and resolutely, “Baking.”
Since Brittney told me this contemporary fable, I’ve been struggling to find my dinosaur. I’m sure a lot of people expect my dinosaur to be photography, but that’s never been the case for me. Photography has also been a pathway for me, a way to communicate and connect - but my photography is not about me. It’s not what makes me silly, or weird or completely happy just being myself. And it’s not what I choose to do on a day off. In fact, there are many vacations I go on where I don’t even take my camera.
So I did a little digging: What did I used to love? What did I do that was a little selfish and brought me SO much joy? There are 3 things that come to mind.
I used to sing. I sang loud and constantly. I still know all the words to most songs on the radio and will sing in front of anyone whom I’m comfortable around. But I no longer sing in public. So much of my life is public now and this small thing is something I wish I could share, but I’ve lost the confidence in my voice, in my ability to project and make people notice. It’s so strange. As I lost confidence in my singing voice, I gain confidence in all other aspects of my life. As I reflect now, singing used to be the only part of me that was loud and proud. Now, I am loud and proud all day everyday. Perhaps that is something to be grateful for.
I used to read. I used to devour books. I used to read fiction for fun and stay up all night until I finished a book, not caring that it would affect my entire next day. Now, I read for knowledge. I read to motivate myself and I read to improve. I lost my patience for fiction.
I used to journal. I have journals dating back from 7th grade through college. They are hilarious and pivotal to my formation. These blog posts have become my way of flexing that muscle, of getting back into the groove of sharing my soul. But now it’s more structured. These words have purposed. Perhaps I miss the lack of purpose certain life activities used to have. No everything has direction and a timeline. I want to be frivolous, careless and absent. I want to forget things and show up late and stay in bed all day. But the act of following through on any of these things causes SOOO much anxiety, that I stop being lazy and I take action. Now, my body is trained for action. Trained to jump from one activity to the next. One text to the phone call to the email. To the book that will take me on my next journey upward. And as I write these words I realize, leisure is the dinosaur I lost.
Watch my Wednesdays with Whitney chat with Brittney Ledford below!