This year has been a roller coaster. With the passing of my birthday this week, I’ve decided to take stock of my present by looking back at what I’ve learned this year and looking forward towards manifesting my ideal future.
| PostSecret |
There is no God. It was aggravating to realise that I don’t believe in a higher power, as I’ve always felt spiritual. Once I overcame my doubts, it became clear: there is an explanation for everything, whether humanity has discovered it yet or not – but there is no grand design, and definitely no one ruler above all. Letting go of the idea of God is terrifying, as it means that when the shit hits the fan, you have no one to blame but yourself. And when you’re struggling, you don’t have a higher resource to turn to for help. Yet somehow letting go of this concept, I am finding a strange kind of fulfilment.
Success is personally defined. Work cannot be your everything (and busyness is overrated). I read somewhere once that you are the smartest you are ever going to be at 32. So I’ve reached my peak intelligence. This is the smartest I am ever going to be. And at this point I’ve learnt to measure my success in a way that is meaningful TO ME, that exhaustion is not a status symbol, and that slow and steady wins the race, especially when you are swimming upstream.
Art by Duy Huynh | This is colossal
After 30, media gives up on you. There are no lists. No ‘Things to learn by the time you are 30’. No ‘Life experiences you should have (and learn from ) in your 20s – or else’. It’s as though global media is saying: we have taught you. We have given you EVERYTHING. You have all the tools now, so…. you’re on your own. Good luck with that.
#tooyoungtodie. Despite media attention on the 20-somethings, I’m still young! OK, so I am technically an adult, but when and why did I fucking did I start living like an old woman who has given up on life? There are still good times to be had, and there are still reckless behaviours to be celebrated. More importantly, you are never old if you are young at heart! It’s true at 68 and it’s true at 32.
More creativity. More writing – I have so many ideas for this. More singing. Loudly. More connecting with art and going to exhibitions. It’s no coincidence that that first exhibition I attended was Waking Up. *On for one more day!!!* If you are in London and looking for something fresh, vibrant, and inspiring, go check out this amazing installation/exhibit by S Psarros at the Old Truman Brewery. You will not regret it.
More movement. If I knew I was going to lose my legs, would I spend my last day with them lying in bed lamenting their impending loss? Or would I spend my last day running and doing scissor kicks in the air? From what I know about death, I know that when I look back over my life, I will see how short it was. I will see that it flew by in a flash, it may as well have been only a day. If time is subjective, I may as well be losing my legs tomorrow, I may as well be losing my life tomorrow. So I will jump and run and move in celebration of this home I have been given on my time here on earth. And when I can’t do that any more, I shall use it for gentler tasks, like planting flowers or knitting or baking. It shouldn’t be so hard to learn to live in our bodies, but for some of us, it is.
More positivity. Influenced not only by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but by the many wonderful bloggers I follow and friends who bring joy into my life, I am on a positivity quest this year. I need to get out of my own way. I’ve given my negative thoughts a bit too much air time and the fuckers are little saboteurs. I need to apply the mindfulness tricks I’ve learned over my trainings and apply as many great ideas as possible.
More bravery. Fear and ambition are inextricably linked. It’s really hard to let go of expectations because of the panic that induces, but that’s what bravery is, and that is where beauty is born – amongst the chaos. The best idea I’ve heard for this is to write down and then burn a fear every morning. As a late teen, I would burn my diaries and my angry letters – it was extremely satisfying, and there is no good reason why I can’t incorporate this practice to my adult life.
More talking. I seem to have forgotten that people exist outside of the realm of ‘me’, apparently. I have lost my curiosity in others and have replaced it with a curiosity of what others think of me, rather than treating them as wonderful beings that exist independently of me. This is exacerbated by the fact that it is hard to make friends as an adult. So in an effort to have better relationships with people, I will make it my purpose to ask others about their lives. I don’t think I’m as bad as I’m making myself out to be to be honest, but there’s nothing wrong with making a bit of extra effort with people you care about.
More sacredness. Despite what I said above, I do not in any way deny the fact that we exist in an interconnected narrative ecosystem. As a result, I want to build an altar that reminds me to take a moment to connect with my values. I have always considered myself a spiritual person and I am wise enough to know that I alone can’t control everything that happens in life. It’s not explained by God but by lots of smaller often opposing everyday magics. Like daffodils.