3 Things I Learned in My Twenties:
- I deserve to be happy and IT IS OKAY to let go of people and it's also okay NOT to "forgive and forget". This was the hardest lesson for me to learn because I am a people-pleaser and being self-less with those I love brings me the greatest joy. I used to assume everyone was just like me because making the people you love happy is the best feeling ever. I got very hard and shocking doses of reality from someone in my childhood into my teens, and then another person in my twenties. I believe in the phrase "Do onto others as you would have them do unto you", but when that comes at a cost of your own happiness, you just need to step away from that friendship, relationship, family, etc.. When I find that someone is constantly negative, or dramatic, or self-absorbed, or breaks their word, or they're deceitful, or criticizing.... or even that our relationship is not even close to balanced, (i.e. I'm giving 90% and getting 10% back instead of even a 60/40% balance), I back off. Jim Roth said, "You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with", that's why when I find myself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, negative, self-conscious, drained or down-right shitty whenever I'm in a certain person's company, I've learned to quickly cut ties and I must say, I'm a happier woman for it. With learning the worth of myself and my happiness, I have developed the best relationships, (while letting go of plenty), and I also have the most amazing and supportive family.
- The "invincibility" feeling ends, especially when you have children. I do think that young people, (OH MY G.... Did I really just say "young people"?), should embrace that feeling while it lasts and use that courage to have awesome adventures and learn activities that require balls, (yep, it's the only word I could think of). I now have a fear of heights which may keep me from ever sky-diving, and I'm more cautious on surfing bigger waves, because as you get older, you do get "wiser", (meaning you put your mortality into closer perspective). I also consider my daughter with every single thing I do or risk I take... Which means her safety and my own safety are now of the upmost importance.... Which brings me to:
- When you have a child, you will learn a side of yourself you didn't even know existed. I may look and act like a gentle, loving lady... but cross my child, (or my husband), and I will turn three kinds of crazy like you've never seen! I also will never put myself first again, which means, if it comes to the last slice of the best pizza on earth and we are all starving, I'd risk my life to make sure that my child gets every bite of that slice of pizza. I already know that this will last until I'm dead and gone. She's not even three-years-old and when Jun and I talk about retirement, we already say, "We'll just have to wait and see where Reise wants to go after she graduates high school." The love inside of my body and my bones is more than I knew was fathomable.... Literally to the point where I've looked at my daughter and wondered how I was not physically combusting with the love that I feel for her. Having her has also made me love my husband more, (which I didn't know that was possible either). I would do anything for them both.
What Thirty Looked Like to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self
Now I know I've toted that list all over the place and it still exists... I just can't find it right now, but I've memorized most of the list. It included things like: Swim in clear blue water like you see on TV, get my pilots license, learn piano, bungee jump, sky-dive, visit a foreign country besides Canada, etc. etc.. When I reflect on that crumply yellow piece of paper with it's eager and ambitious handwriting, I may not have achieved them all, but I've achieved the ones that matter and more. I now LIVE and swim in that clear blue ocean "like you see on TV" nearly everyday. I've traveled to Peru and Costa Rica and road tripped across the USA in a van for 50 days. I learned guitar, banjo, and ukulele instead of the piano. I bungee jumped in Peru, and as it turns out, I HATED it, (I honestly can't imagine anyone liking that feeling like you're diving to your death and then being snapped around by a 300 foot rubber band).
I still keep a vision/bucket board where I dream up everything I want to achieve, and then toss the picture into the bucket when I've achieved it. As it turns out, some of the "30 Things Before I'm 30" don't even interest me anymore, (like my recently developed fear of flying that knocks the pilot's license off the list). I think there is a shift as you approach the big 3-0, and I imagine there will be another one when I reach 40. And since I've seen how there can be such a shift in desire in 10 years, I'm going to just keep on using my vision board to pin-up and take down my dreams and desires as they come to me.
Here's some stuff that I've recently knocked off my vision board with before and after photos:
|This is straight off my vision board... It was my desire to learn to SUP surf well.|
|And this is me.|
|This is the picture that I had up for "learn to brew beer".|
|And here is my first batch of a delicious brown ale I home-brewed,|
(Thank you Tutu for the home-brew kit).
|Currently my board has things like home/farm ownership, getting|
barreled by a wave, lots of hikes and travel dreams, and more.
|My vision board/work space.|
Here's to the next adventure!
With Love and Aloha,