I turn 30 one month from today . That being said, the big 3-0 has been on my mind a lot lately, in that nagging what am I doing with my life kind of way and the Holy Shit, I’m a “real” adult now.
In an attempt to ease my anxieties and feel more empowered moving forward, I’m deliberately making some trades and exchanging a few of my old habits for new ones that better serve me.
Here are the 3 things I’m letting go and 3 things I’m aiming to adopt:
The belief that I should be anything I’m not. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve become consumed by all the things I should be by now. A career woman, a world traveler, a lady who likes wearing heels, a person who goes to the dentist every 6 months, someone who doesn’t cuss as much…the list goes on.
Noticing, embracing, and appreciating who I am. I don’t want to lose sight of the things that uniquely add up to make me the woman that I am because I’m so damn focused on everything I haven’t yet become or mastered. I’m someone who loves her kids, spends a lot of time in nature, feels at home on her yoga mat, has hour long phone calls with her friends, and enjoys sinking her toes into sand at the beach. Those things are worth acknowledging and celebrating.
Resistance. I sometimes wonder how many hours of my life I’ve spent resisting things, like hard conversations, vulnerability, pain, and laundry. As I read Glennon Doyle Melton’s description of her life as a race from hot loneliness, I couldn’t help but identify. She wrote, “I picture ten-year old me, feeling my anger, fear, jealousy, otherness, unbelonging for the first time and understanding these uncomfortable but normal human feelings to be wrong, shameful. I thought I needed to hide these feelings, escape them, fix them, deliver myself from them. I didn’t know that everyone feels the hot loneliness. I didn’t know that it would pass.” My mind instantly searched and cycled through all the times I’ve felt and resisted all those same, universal things.
Acceptance. I’m giving myself permission to be fully me, to have feelings – happy and upsetting and everything in between. I’ll focus on the idea that I don’t have to struggle against life as if I’m swimming against the tide. And I’ll bear in mind that discomfort is part of self-discovery. Not everything needs to be labeled as good, or bad, but simply as part of the process. For that reason alone and especially, there’s no need to hide, escape, fix, or deliver myself from the painful parts of being human.
The 10-year plan. Worrying about the future deserves a spot on the skills section of my resume. While I’m all about making goals, and envisioning my passions played out, the reality is that many of my thoughts are fear based. I find myself obsessing about what could go wrong. I get lost in the land of scarcity and not having, doing, or being enough. I become so entangled in the future what-ifs that I lose sight of the moment happening right now.
The today plan. Because maybe my 10-year plan is really just a collection of all the things I decide to do daily. Perhaps mapping out the future looks less like a rule book to follow and more like allowing my intuition to lead, expressing gratitude for what’s present, and trusting that living mindfully will guide me towards where I’m meant to be, today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now. So that when I turn 40, I still won’t have arrived at my destination, but rather, will be continuing to travel along my way.
In writing out my life swaps, I know that I’ll have moments where I stumble and misstep. From time to time, I’ll surely still experience the old beliefs that I should be more than I am, or that parts of me are shameful enough that I should choose to hide, or that I should have a better idea of what my future will hold. But beyond those doubting voices, my 30 years of life so far have taught me that what I really should do is give myself a little more credit, because after all, I’ve made it this far.
“In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand.” – Jiddu Krishnamurtu
What steps do you think you can take to let go and step forward? How does it make you feel when you let go of these things that you cling to? Let me know!