At the moment, I’m 31 years old. As most of you are aware, the last couple of years have been a little trying for me. I’ve struggled with who I am. I’ve doubted myself. I’ve wondered if I actually have a place to belong, a purpose to operate within the confines of, and ultimately whether anything I’m doing is actually contributory to those around me — or whether anything I’m involved in is actually worthwhile.
I’ve had a couple of meltdowns.
At this point, I don’t have any answers to any of the questions I started asking myself when I turned 30. Friday, I will celebrate 32 years in this ever-evolving (and always confusing) world… and although I admittedly don’t have all (or even most) of the answers I’m looking for, I thought I would start the new year out by sharing 31 things that I have learned through this journey called LIFE… and decide on some resolutions I would like to adopt for 2015. The bold items will have resolutions. The rest are just realizations – some about myself, some about life, some about the world.
- I resolve to try… I don’t know if I will ever actually be adequate to me no matter how hard I try. I may never be what I consider to be enough. And that’s okay. In the new year, I will try to be a little less hard on myself – a bit less critical and a bit more accepting. Regardless of whether I am pleased with myself or not, I will do my best to at least be more fair to me. More forgiving.
- Being too strong for too long will likely become a weakness.
- You will never truly be able to see yourself the way others do, but on the rare occasion that you get a glimpse, it can be both humbling and uplifting to realize that depending on the situation, you may either not be as great as you think you are or you may be much greater than you give yourself credit for. Life is all about bringing yourself back to the middle and maintaining a position of not thinking to highly or too little of yourself.
- Everyone isn’t your friend.
- Everyone isn’t your enemy.
- Fear is a side effect of the human condition that is never cured, but diminished by faith.
- I resolve to allow myself to be human. I will never reach the level of perfection that I expect of myself. I will accept myself and give approval to myself. As much am I am flawed, I’m courageous. As much as I am imperfect, I’m real.
- There are many forms of therapy. Mine are writing poetry, journaling, music (singing and listening), and… well, a therapist lol No matter who you are, you have to find a method of calming your inner madness.
- Anything in excess is bad, no matter how good it is, it seems, or it feels.
- In the balance sheet of life, trying too hard not to disappoint others will always fall under the liability column no matter how much you want to make it an asset.
- Childhood may not affect us as much in childhood as it does in adulthood. Anything ignored or tucked away will spill over at some point.
- Happiness is not a gift someone else can give you. It is a state of being that can only come from within. Lack of it isn’t cured by rationale, understanding, or reasoning, but by growth, healing, and self-acceptance. Many people lack happiness because they never learn to love — or even get to know — themselves.
- I resolve to make an honest effort to not need to be understood so much. No one will ever know me like I know me. As long as I know my motives and am honest with myself about my intentions, I have to be confident in my ability to know what is right for me without expecting anyone else to truly *get* where I’m coming from all the time.
- Parents don’t know much more about rearing children than the children they try to raise… life experience gives us a shot of wisdom and maturity, but in the end, we are all just learning as we go no matter how old we are.
- Normal is overrated.
- There is a strong connection between the mind, body, and soul. If one element suffers, they all do. Mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all very much interdependent.
- There should be no such thing as regrets. Lessons are learned through the decisions we make, no matter what the outcome might be. Everything happens for a reason… every choice we make is deliberate whether it’s made consciously and purposefully or not.
- Identity is not unchanging. I’m finding that it is actually a very fluid part of our existence. People do not experience an identity “crisis” as it’s so often heard — rather, these are periods of identity transitions. We evolve as time passes… unfortunately, many struggle with the process because we are so afraid of change, especially when it’s uncomfortable.
- I don’t owe anyone anything.
- I resolve to keep pressing. Even though some situations seem impossible to overcome, I’ve learned that there is nothing any of us can go through that someone else hasn’t already been through.
- Vulnerability is not a bad thing. It can be one of life’s biggest and most refreshing blessings.
- I can’t always be strong.
- I won’t always be weak.
- It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
- Everyone is missing something and hardly anyone knows what it is until they find it. The downside is once that piece is placed, the feeling will return. Being complete in a perpetual sense is an unrealistic goal because it is a relative and conditional idea. Learning to be okay with the lack is part of being human.
- Consistency is overrated. Honesty and loyalty are far more valuable. People change. Those who don’t aren’t growing.
- I resolve to find moments of peace. I will make time for myself and not just say I’m going to make time for myself. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, I’ve intended to pay attention to myself for years and I always have other things to do… in the end, I find myself feeling like I’m living in my own personal hell no matter how fulfilling what I spend my time on may be… because generally, that time is spent catering to others and giving of myself with no time to refill.
- Dreams were meant to be big.
- High heeled shoes should be at least 6″ tall :)
- No matter how things seem, when you take an honest look there are always more things to be thankful for than there are things to resent.
- Love really does conquer all.
In many ways, 2014 was one of the best years I’ve ever had. In other ways, it was one of the most difficult. Overall, I can’t complain. I’m ending this year in a good place. Having had my fair share of hopeless feelings and finding myself anxious and depressed for the final quarter, I’m grateful for all of my blessings and looking forward to 2015. Life isn’t supposed to be perfect — the collective experience of it is worth embracing and I am 100% in love with mine, storms and all.