Last week, I turned thirty. Here are some things I’ve learned over the last thirty years.
Sometimes I forget that I am a (nearly) thirty-year-old adult. I forget that while I make all the decisions about my own life, that the decisions are truly my own to make.
I tend to make major life decisions based upon what negative feedback I think am going to get. I worry that the decisions I make are going to be “wrong.” I worry that I am still a 12-year-old kid that is going to be scolded or grounded. It doesn’t matter if the decision is personal or professional. It doesn’t matter if I have my best interests in mind. For every major decision, I weigh it against what people close to me will say or think. I weigh it against how it will affect their opinion of me.
Before the holidays, I worked with Tara from A Life Changing Journey to gain some perspective on making big changes in my life. Going into the whole life coaching thing was new for me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of it, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to be willing to discuss. We talked about a lot of things, but the big thing I got out of our sessions together was that I am the one in charge of my life. I am driving.
For as independent and together as I try to be, there are certain aspects of my life where I let other people’s opinions and feelings rule my decisions. For example, I want a tattoo. I know I want a tattoo. I’m certain of the content and the placement, yet I am hesitating. The hesitation is not because I’m afraid of the actual process of getting the tattoo. Sure, the permanence is a little scary, but the procedure is not. (I had a thyroid biopsy. I can do anything.) What keeps getting into my head is that I’m going to disappoint someone. Someone close to me may not like tattoos, and they may think that my having one in such a visible location is wrong, stupid, etc.
Why does it matter?
This is how a lot of my decisions are made. I worry about how my decisions about things I want to do are going to affect other people’s opinions of me. I’m not worried about superficial things, like if the clothes I’m wearing are in style or if I’m up-to-date on pop culture, but I worry about the very personal, important decisions about my life.
This needs to stop.
What I choose to do with my life is my choice. I am in the driver’s seat. I am driving.
While I can’t say much at the moment, I can say that right now is ROUGH. Things aren’t going my way, and things haven’t been going my way for quite some time. However, I believe that everything is going to be OK.
I can’t talk about what’s going on, but I can say that every choice I make from here on out will be an intentional one. Every choice will have a purpose. It has taken me a year of ups and downs throughout all aspects of my life to realize that some days, some weeks, some months, and some years are not yours to conquer. Sometimes the hits just keep coming, but how you deal with each one is up to you.
It could be worse. No one died, and no one is dying. (Knock on wood.)
It’s taken this year of crap (ineloquent but true) for me to realize that I wll be OK. Never before have I ever doubted my “okayness” until I went through this last year, but now I know that I can and will be OK no matter what. Life happens. It’s how you deal with it that determines how you will proceed.
These next few weeks and months will be a challenge, but I will get through them. If anything, my challenges in this past year have taught me that I have a support system, as non-traditional as it may be. I have people that love me. I have people that worry about me. I have people that will kick me in the ass when I need it. I have people that will not let me forget what good things I have in my life and what things I am capable of doing.
Last year, I was sad and uncertain about the future. Today, I have a plan, and I am hopeful.
“One day at a time–this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”
– Ida Scott Taylor