Sooo I’m turning 28. I can’t wait to not be 27 anymore because boy was it a wild ride. I was super excited to turn 27, but this year was nothing like imagined it would be. I felt like sharing some of the wisdom I gained this year with you because I think I realized some important stuff.
Becoming my best friend – Let’s start with the best thing that happened to me this year. I didn’t always have the best relationship with myself, there was a period where I was convinced that everyone in my life loved me out of habit, they kept on loving me because they’ve been loving me for years, and that I was not a lovable person. I thought I had nothing interesting or fun I could bring to the table. Luckily I grew out of it and now I love myself very much. So the first piece of wisdom I wanna share with you is the importance of becoming your best friend. You have to enjoy spending time with yourself, take yourself on dates. Relationships are a huge part of our lives and we spend more time fixing our relationships with our friends, family, partner than fixing our relationship with ourselves. This year was incredibly valuable for me in terms of getting to know myself and enjoying my company.
Check in with yourself – Know your limits, know what you like and what you don’t. Reevaluate your values, do you have the same values as your family? Do you still have the same belief sets you had 5 years ago? But do you really? I feel like we often have this idea of ourselves, maybe it’s who our parents think we are, or our friends, like “she is the responsible one”, “she is the mom of the group”. Maybe you are not anymore. You cant rely on the identities that others find appropriate for you. Especially in our 20s we keep changing and growing and evolving and it’s important to see what beliefs or traits you had are not serving you anymore, and just let it go.
I am as long as my body is – Have you ever had to recover from a surgery or drop kidney stone? Then you know what that kind of physical pain does to you. I experienced something similar this year when I had covid. Everything hurt and it coincided with my period and existential crisis so it was a life changing experience for me. I am not me when my body is not at it’s full potential, and we owe it to ourselves to take care of our bodies. If dairy messes you up, trust me you can live without a pizza. If your anxiety kicks in when you drink coffee, you can find a new morning ritual. Listening to your body and nourishing it is the best thing we can do to ourselves, because we don’t always have control over our mind and soul, or at least I haven’t figured that out yet, but I think we have decent control over our bodies. So let’s make things easy for us. Make fitness and health a priority because you are as you as your body allows you to be.
If you need to eat and sleep, you need to exercise too – Let’s be honest, some of you don’t have exercise a lot. You work out for the summer body or to fit the wedding dress, but exercise has a lot to do with your mind than your body. It’s a basic need. If you feel depressed, do yourself a favor and go to a CrossFit class. You’ll probably have to lift a thousand pounds and do a million pull ups in like 8 minutes but it feels so good! Exercise brings you to the moment and makes you forget about everything that’s been troubling you, because your mind and body and each muscle cell has to be in the moment for that next lift or that next pull. I owe my abs and peace of mind to CrossFit and you should find what suits you. Channel your energy to something positive for you, or it will find its way to fuel your paranoia and anxiety.
The dreaded question: what do you do? A few months ago, I was on my way to meet a high school friend whom I haven’t seen for at least 4 years. I was walking towards him when I got so frustrated because I knew that one of the first questions he will ask me was going to be: what do you do? And it has the longest possible answer because I recently realized the career path I’ve been on wasn’t best fit for me and I quit but am yet to find what is. And I hate explaining this to people! But when I told him I felt this way, he said he has a simple answer, he is a consultant at this big firm, but it doesn’t mean that he has everything figured out either.
Collapsing under the career pressure – So a little back story, I studied Economics in college and it wasn’t really for me so I did my Master’s on Cinema Studies. I thought I wanted to become a producer, it made so much sense. But after a year and a half I realized this year that that’s not it that’s not the life that I want, and I was like, this cant be happening again, I cannot do this again, I cannot switch fields again! Because I did that once and I’m already “behind”. And I know that Steve Carell didn’t get his first big role until he was in his 40s and Charles Darwin changed science when he was 50 so like it’s fine. I know I said I’m behind but I’m not actually comparing myself to others and feeling sad for myself, it’s more like I thought I would’ve figured it out by now. If you are going through a similar rut, let me know if you are actually worried about where you stand compared to your friends, because for me the fight is always with my vision of myself. I am not thrilled about where I am now but I’m not that thrilled about where others are either, if that makes sense.
Trust me we are all lost – And I talk to my friends about this and see a lot of them are feeling this way so maybe you are too, I’m talking about: “What am I supposed to be doing with my life”. Because I have the biggest dreams in the world but what I’ve been doing so far doesn’t seem to be taking me there. Deep inside I know they do, every experience takes us one step closer to what we will eventually become, nothing is a waste of time, it just means that it’s not time yet. And I do believe we can make all of our dreams reality at one point but we just don’t know the first steps. It’s quite funny when you think of it that way, we are like toddlers again. We have no idea what we are supposed to be doing because there is no guideline for your late 20s. It’s not like after the sophomore year comes the junior. It’s not that certain anymore. I feel like we are learning a lot but we just don’t know how to implement them I guess. But we are in this together. I cannot relate to those motivational speeches where they tell you not to tell your dreams to your friends because they shut it down. I’ve never had a friend like that, do you actually have friends like that?
Do you even like your friends? – If yes, let me tell you that friendships don’t have to be that way. If you sense a hint of jealousy, or a pin, or that they’re dragging you down, you are probably right and you don’t have to put up with that. Some people can make you feel bad just by being themselves, I’m sure you have a similar effect on others. So it’s ok to cut people off your life when that’s the case. This is why we have less and less friends as we grow older, and the very few we are left with bring out the best in us and the bond is way stronger. If you are a teenager reading this, I can’t tell you to cut off half your friends, because I think it’s valuable to be friends with all kinds of people to see which ones you vibe with and who you feel 100% yourself with, even though “yourself” will keep changing. I guess I just wanna say that it’s okay for people to come and go, I recently became friends again with my ex best friend who I didn’t speak with for 5 years. We had to grow apart to reunite and continue our friendship.
Who you spend time with is who you become – Never underestimate peer pressure! If all your friends are vegan you will most probably try becoming one, if your friend group’s favorite Friday night activity is watching the game while eating fried chicken, you probably won’t think you have the option of becoming vegan because you’d feel left out. Think about your inner circle, or who you spend most time with. These people can be your partner and family and friends but these people can be your coworkers too. Do you like their values, what they stand for? It’s important to surround yourself with people you think highly of, that you admire their heart, soul, their wit, their sense of humor. Because that’s pretty much what we become.
Life is seriously what happens while you make plans – This is cliche for a reason. Career-wise, nothing turned out to be the way I expected them to be this year, which made me question if other aspects of my life will be like this too. Things that I’m sure will happen may not happen. This opened up a whole new vision and a new set of possibilities for me. I realized how I’m fixated on some ideas and goals and plans and sometimes I just hold onto them out of despite, or because I never even thought about an alternative. Why is our initial drive to swim against the current? Why do we feel lost when we let ourselves go with the flow? Something doesn’t add up. But this year I’ll try to plan less and live more. We’ll see how that goes.
No more vision boards – And that’s somewhat relevant to why I won’t do a vision board this year. What’s a vision board? You basically find images of things you want from that year and stick them on a board. In 2021 some of the stuff I posted didn’t happen because I simply lost interest in accomplishing them (a year is a long time and boy did I change) and with some of them I had no control over (like because of covid related restrictions). Does this mean that I failed this year?
And you cant print out “being your best friend” or “feeling comfortable in your skin” and post on your vision board and I prioritize those kind of stuff now. Besides, it’s how you feel that matters, not what you achieve.
My first and last birth chart reading – I did an astrology birth chart reading for the first time this year. It was crazy how some dates and events were so specific, it’s incredible how someone just looks at the positions of the stars the moment you were born and maps out your whole life. Only that it’s not your whole life. Like I said, some things she said were so accurate it’s insane. But with some things I feel like I was inclined to doing them because she said I would. Like, would Macbeth kill Duncan if the witches didn’t tell him he would? And I now realize that it put some kind of a structure to my life, because the reading shows how this year looks like energetically, which felt comforting for a while because I was in this haze. I still am, but I now like to think that I am creating my life as I go, and anything is possible, and everything can change in a snap, and I don’t like to think that I have a determined roadmap. So I don’t think I’m gonna have another reading.
Happy bday to me! – I am living in the moment for the first time in my life and I can’t tell you enough how liberating it has been. So happy birthday to me, I am thrilled to have survived another year. It was a painful one and I’m nowhere near having my life figured out, but I’m so grateful for it. And thank you so much for being here, I appreciate you.