MenagerieToo much or too little? : Examining the art of reinvention
Too much or too little? : Examining the art of reinvention
January 14, 2019
January 14, 2019


“New year, new me” is a saying that has been repeated since time immemorial, or at least since Facebook was invented.

The way we choose to express ourselves is a constant work in progress. The thought of reinventing oneself has probably crossed everyone’s mind once or twice. Whether it’s finally going to the gym to gain those muscles or slim down, changing up our style to reflect a different side of us, or even just making an effort to fix our relationships with friends and family—we all like to change things up a bit (all for the better, of course). However, to some people, little switch-ups here and there aren’t enough. To them, a much bigger change must take place in order for them to truly come into their own.

To change things about oneself is one thing but to change oneself altogether is an entirely different thing.




Reinvention is a word people use when they realize they have hit rock bottom; it is the word that drives them to act, to change, to reevaluate every decision that led to their downfall. Despite the motivation, few have actually succeeded in reinventing themselves. Some like Graciele Reganit (III, BEED-ECED) see reinvention less as a changing of oneself, and more of a finding oneself.

“For me, it’s not really reinventing yourself—it’s about silencing the world, its opinions and noise, and reconnecting with your true self. Who were you before society forced its ideals and expectations on you? That’s what you have to discover,” she explains. Graciele, like many others, has gone through experiences both in and out of the University that have challenged her foundational beliefs as well as her identity. But through the act of silencing the world, as she puts it, she has been on an arduous journey of getting to know herself outside of societal expectations and standards.

Reinvention does not always come in a snap. It does not happen overnight. Reinvention rises from hard work, persistence, and even the faith that all things will work out in the end. When asked about her journey of personal change, Graciele says, “It really depends on the frequency of reflection, of deep thoughts, of meditation. We learn best through experience, but experience is nothing unless we reflect on it.”

Reflection, the act of serious thought about an experience and your reaction to it, is important not only because it fosters self-improvement but also because it serves as a catalyst for reinvention.


A work in progress

As someone who used to believe in the notion of being able to reinvent oneself, but has since abandoned the idea, Adrian* (I, CAM-FIN) has this to say, “I personally don’t subscribe to it anymore. I used to when I didn’t like myself all that much. I would tell my friends, as soon as the new year comes, I’ll start being this. I’ll start doing that. But that concept has become repetitive, and I personally find it ineffective.”

And yet, despite all that, some may find respite in the thought of using the concept of reinvention as a way to try out things and behavior people otherwise wouldn’t consider. He explains, “What you put out in the world is controlled by societal factors like your environment, and the people around you. Some people are restricted by these social factors. They can’t reach their full potential because of [these].”

“Authentic personal change should not be something that you’re declaring to anyone,” he continues, hitting on the note of personal growth, something most people tend to look for when they want to reinvent themselves. “It’s supposed to be something personal. I just see gradual personal change as something more genuine, as compared with a huge personal change,” he adds.


The pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

Change has been, and will always be, an arduous and uninvited happenstance in all our lives; but it’s constant, and therefore reliable. As they say, the only thing constant in this world is change, ironically. There are people who embrace it, rolling with the punches if you will, and there are some who would rather cling to what was, because familiarity feels much safer than the unknown.

When asked if she found solace in reinvention, Graciele expresses her sentiments, “I cannot speak for everyone, but I think change salvages humans from mediocrity and mundaneness. It emphasizes our free will and our potential to become our true self—our better self. Change gives a person [a chance] to start over. It’s up to us if we want to take the risk or settle for something that keeps us from attaining our dreams and aspirations.” For her, change has always been in our hands—it has been in our power to wield it in any way we would like.

Following up that question, we inquired whether or not people shared her view of reinvention. She explains, “As I’ve said, I cannot speak for everyone. But, I know people who went through drastic changes led them into becoming their best self.” For Graciele, second chances are a gateway for people to evolve into their best state; in her eyes, anything can be conquered through internal change.


The inevitability of change

You may believe in making changes here and there in order to become the best version of yourself. You may, instead, favor the concept of becoming an entirely different person (starting with finding your true self). But despite the extent to where you’d take becoming the better you, there is no denying the fact that change is inevitable.

Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s not about how much or how little you change. Maybe it’s just about whether you make space for change or stand in its way.


*Names with asterisks are pseudonyms.