2022 is here and as time slows down for no one I’m excited and nervous but proud of my accomplishments and have lots to celebrate next month for my birthday. My 20s were pure chaos and my 30s aren’t calm but I’ve grown into myself and I’m content with a tad bit of chaos because life is all about balance. Here are a few things that I had to learn to get to where I am today and I hope that they help someone else. I’m not saying that I know it all because knowing it all is never the end game. Knowing that life is full of constant change, education, and maturing is the goal. Knowing what you stand for and when to compromise is growth and we have to keep growing because without growth there is no progress.
Learn the difference between selfish and self-care
Selfish: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. (Oxford Dictionary)
Selfish is “the it’s my way or the highway mentality and the refusal to be a team player. Selfish is refusing to wear a mask and or take a vaccine because you think that you’re special enough that the government wants to harm you on purpose. Everyone is special but no one is that special.
Self-care: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. (Oxford Dictionary)
Self-care is taking care of your physical and or mental health and doesn’t have to be a shopping spree or involve the art of spending money. I learned that going into debt for self-care is self-sabotage and finding a healthy balance of self-care is important. You do not have to feel guilty for taking care of yourself unless your self-care regimen has a communal effect. Self-care is essential because you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Learn how to balance work/life balance
Work/life balance shouldn’t feel like walking a tightrope unless you work at the circus. Learn your worth, boundaries, mission statement and evaluate if your job still aligns with said mission. Ask yourself the real questions and research what your worth is so you have something to draw from. For example, if work and life are always interrupting each other, it may be time to take inventory on what you are willing to sacrifice and what you are not for your peace. Also, if your job is only giving you small yearly raises, Amazon Giftcards, or the dreaded pizza party instead of what you deserve it may be time to take inventory in your peace and see what else is out there.
Learn to say no and don’t explain yourself. You don’t have to show up to every confrontation that you’re invited to. Sometimes no response is the best response. I’ve learned firsthand that sometimes kindness ticks people off when you don’t give them the energy that they want/expect from you.
Set intentions and not goals as intentions give you flexibility and doesn’t come with so much pressure
Last year I changed my to-do list to an intentions list as seeing the word “do” in there didn’t give it the flexibility that I wanted. Things change and so do projects. Make intentions and intend to stick to said intentions but do realize that circumstances change and it’s okay to change your mind.
Remember that we’re still in the middle of a health crisis and you’re not expected to give your 110 percent every day. If the best you got is 60 percent you’re not failing you’re just making the best out of a situation that other people are trying to ignore.
Learn your flaws and own them.
When you know your flaws people can’t use them against you and you get a little more content. Everyone is a work in progress and flaws are okay. I learned this lesson early after being bullied, I realized “hey, I can’t change this thing about me and that’s all they want to pick on me about so own it. Learn your physical and personality trait flaws so you can own them.
Travel outside of your city.
Learn about other people’s cultures so you can broaden your horizons. For example, having a car in some cities is the norm and in others, public transportation is widely accepted by everyone. Learning about other cultures helps you understand people more. I’ve learned that when I learn more about others I learn more about myself.
Learn to make messes
Life is about messes. If perfection was the goal life would be boring. As a writer, I may hate going through the mess but once I’ve gotten through said mess I learned something and it became a really good writing experience. Every mess is a good writing experience rather I enjoyed cleaning it up or not.
Stop and Smell the Roses
At one point I was always so busy worrying about the future that I was missing things right in front of me. At the time that might now have been where I wanted to be but it was most likely where I need to be. I call these situations pit stops. Enjoy your pit stops on the way to your goals. Growing up I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. I went to school for it and even picked up a minor in mass media communications. There I realized I loved other classes like Ethics and Moral Leadership and Political Science. These “and” moments meant I could be more than just a writer. I embraced it and continued my journey taking something from every job I had. I went from being a secretary to a flight attendant, to an IT Analyst.
It’s a journey and it’s important to pause sometime to see where you came from and where you’re going. Don’t forget that at one point you were praying for what you have now.
Understand that you will never have it all figured out.
This is the big one. As someone that loves to schedule things and make lists, I had to realize that I would never have everything figured out and that’s okay because that’s life.
I enjoy reading and taking adventures and doing so many things for the first time. The thrill of doing something for the first time keeps me going. Reading keeps me challenged and it teaches me other perspectives and to keep questioning the world around me.
What’s a piece of advice that you need to take with you more often?