When I took the title 'discover yourself' for this post, you may have conjured images of a heartfelt essay about the importance of truly understanding yourself, your soul and being true to that self. Sadly, I don't think I'm anywhere near in a position to lecture anyone about that right now.
What I was referring to is that strange tendency we humans seem to have of constantly surprising ourselves with our decisions or tastes. I'm talking about the little things here.
For example, I assumed for a long time that I absolutely hated navy and would never wear it, after I got rid of my very first pair of glasses (which were, admittedly, ghastly). And before I knew it, I realised that approximately 70% of my wardrobe was made up of various shades of blue. The rest was black and grey. Now, I am embracing colour again, so you are more likely to find me in bright pink tights and a huge purple bag - although they will probably be accessorising a navy dress, of course.
Similarly, I struggled for a while against reading any books written over a hundred years ago, until I encountered the marvellously 'modern' Becky Sharp of Vanity Fair. Now I actually find it very difficult to read the latest fiction. Sure, there are a few modern classics which I loved, but I think the problem is that the latest releases haven't had to stand the test of endurance over time, so there is a lot more crap to plough through.
Testament to this complete 180 I have done in terms of my taste in books is my 'unfinished' shelf - every single book on there was written after 1900. And they're all books with a good reputation too: On Beauty (just lost interest), The Trial (I got the message after one chapter - and oh my God Kafka, could you please use paragraphs???), The Accidental (pretentious, much?). Well, you get the picture.
So all this leads me to wondering about the nature of taste. Evidently our tastes and preferences do evolve, but is this evolution endless? Or do we reach a point when we have fully discovered ourselves? And in that case, were our previous preferences merely misguided errors in judgemet, due to current fashions, our peers or our ages? What do you think?