I’m in the last hour of 25. And I’m a sentimentalist. And a procrastinator. So here I find myself for the first time in a long time. Someday I’m going to have to expound on my mental health journey, quitting my job and moving to Chilliwack, and my ever-fluctuating love life, but today is not that day; I’m not in the place in my process where I can craft a cohesive narrative without spinning into refrains of “I don’t know” – but I’m getting there for the first time in a number of years.
What I want to share about are some of the big learnings of 25. Enter: my first listicle, and definitely too many cliches; I am what I am. *Insert shrugging shoulders emoji girl here*
- Stop waiting to live your life actively. It’s not merely the fact that life is short – which it is – but even more importantly that you might as well make the most of the opportunity that is in front of you. Don’t wait to lose the weight, to unpack another box, till the time is “right”, because you’re never going to be perfect, and neither is the moment. “Being patient” is too often a mask for fear and passivity. Just start and be ready because life is about to get crazy good.
- Budget. I reiterate my last point. DON’T WAIT.
- Counselling is therapy. Literally. Why aren’t you there? My listicle, your hairdresser, weight loss, and your essential oils are not going to a be fix-alls. Talking to a human who helps you understand and craft your human experience is at least going to help you build a narrative to the process of living. Enter empowerment.
- Your living environment is a reflection of what’s going on inside – and sometimes vice versa. Invest in your living space – internal and external.
- Living close to work is brand new to me and it’s gonna be a thing that happens from now on.
- Find the strong women. Learn from the strong women. Study the strong women. Become a strong [enter your name here]. Empower others to be the best them that they can be.
- It’s okay to quit the most rewarding job of your life when it’s taking it’s toll on your physical and mental health. I did it. The position where I’ve ended up isn’t my dream job, but the way I’m treated by my employer is giving me the headspace to be present, focused, creative, and diligent – both at work and in my personal life. Respect is a catalyst for long-lasting passion.
- No is always a full sentence. It needs to be respected. And the people who respect it will receive often receive an explanation. And those who don’t won’t be invited back. AND THAT’S MORE THAN OKAY. #healthyboundaries #byeeeee
- Sleep is the great healer. I know, it’s shocking that it’s not the avocados or essential oils (I am on a kick tonight and I don’t know where it’s coming from – all this pent-up-essential-oil-rage). But seriously: the lines on my face are going away on this new sleep schedule. When people ask me how I’m doing, I instinctually say “tired” after years of establishing the habit AND THEN I STOP AND CORRECT MYSELF BECAUSE A MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED AND I’M NOT ALWAYS TIRED ANYMORE. Yay for sleep hygiene; all the effort to establish a wake up time was worth it and it only took 25 years to make it happen.
- If you are well rested, you won’t find yourself in the Starbucks queue as often. But still often enough to maintain your Gold Card.
- Don’t give up on the good ones. They have their moments and seasons, too. Take the time to consider whether or not your ego is worth a friendship. Mine wasn’t and still isn’t.
- ALWAYS say yes to holding a baby. Your stone-cold heart will explode and you’ll start your application to become a foster parent (LITERALLY. It’s in progress). Even after they’ve been screaming bloody murder for an hour. (SECRET TIP: hold them close on your left side, and breathe really deep – pretty quick their breathing will sync up with yours and they’ll feel that dreamy biological validation of their distress. BAM.)
- A plain McDouble is rarely an impossibility.
- You have too much stuff. Throw it out. Give it away. Don’t replace it.
- When the anxiety kicks in, figure out what you can control and micromanage the crap out of it. (Wisdom: this only works if you admit to yourself that this is what you are doing – intentionally).
- Leave space for margin. You will not run perfectly on time (or, if you’re me, you will just never run on time, ever. Full stop). You won’t have the capacity for as many meaningful interactions as you hoped for. You will run out of gas if you drive on “E” for too long. You will have to go to the grocery store sooner than anticipated. You will have big feels. You are not unlimited or inhuman – you are very, very human and very, very finite. Build in room for failure and simultaneously give yourself space for the outcome to still be a successful one. And a little extra time in the calendar leaves room for the magic of being a human to happen; the good stuff can’t always be anticipated.
- Feeling is hard – don’t force it. After you’ve been in survival mode for too long, those feelings might go underground for awhile. It’s okay. They’ll come back as you work through the trauma; don’t push too much too soon. I promise they’ll return with a vengeance. HA.
- When it comes to exploring romantic relationships, follow the gut and know when it’s time to cut your losses – and keep yourself safe. Monitor the red flags; everyone has a few – don’t be a jerk – but when you know it’s time, just go. Keeping in mind…
- Self-sabotage is always a temptation. It makes you feel invincible and all-knowing, but let go of your ego. Believe that good can happen – not that it necessarily will – but that it can happen to you, too. The theory of The Law of Attraction has its merits.
- Don’t fall asleep with your contacts in twice in one week unless you want a bacterial infection in your EYEBALL. Foolish, B.
- Overconfidence isn’t competence. Let it go and live in a world with a little grey. Or at least a world where you’re open to the fact that grey could exist. Your pomposity is not going to end well, DONALD. #impeachasap #littlehands #thisisaboutmorethanjustdonaldthough
- The best kinds of friends are the ones who get along with your family. Radiant fricking gems.
- Also, parents are cool. If yours aren’t, in all seriousness I’m incredibly sorry, and please stay away from people who predictably induce trauma and drama. But if yours are alright, hold them tight.
- If you have to force it, it’s probably too restrictive for you to breathe. This goes for clothes, budgets, and people. BUT…
- You do not need to shrink. Being rather intuitive right from the get-go, I grew up often acquiring friends who needed someone who would get them and build into them. The trouble was, they didn’t really want my help in their growth, just my validation. I was often told I carried too much presence, too many opinions, and far too much desire for more. They didn’t celebrate my growth; in fact they often made me feel like I was “too much”. Listen to me: YOU are NOT “too much”. Do not let them force you into their little tiny boxes and expectations. You are a person, not a mug covered in bubble wrap preparing to move. And if you hear the line “you’re too much”, you’ve merely outgrown them – and hopefully their bullshit, too.
- *Insert shrugging shoulders emoji girl here*
Hey, Anna – I know you’re there; My Year finally happened!