Last weekend, I turned 27 years old. I am still trying to wrap my head around this whole aging thing! When I was a teen, 27 just seemed like such an old age to me and it felt like something that was so far away it would never actually come, but it definitely did. I don’t feel like an “adult” per say or try to do “adult” things. I am just living my life day by day trying to navigate this amazing world and live in a way that is true to myself and my values. That being said, while I don’t feel old, I do feel a lot wiser than my teen years, and I have no desire to look back. I keep joking to my friends that people should look at themselves aging like a fine wine – it gets better and better as each year passes. There are some definite lessons that I have learned this year, that is worth shining a spotlight on:
1. Time flies: No seriously, time flies. Like I mentioned earlier, I am still trying to figure out how I turned 27. As each year passes, I think I am learning more and more just how precious time actually is and how important it is to savor every moment. It is so easy to put things off and say that you have “tomorrow”, but tomorrow always comes and before you know it, you’ve wasted way more tomorrows than you planned, not going after what you want. What ever it is that you want to do, do it! Do it NOW! Seize the F out of everyday, not to say that you have to go skydiving every other day or something, but just try to do something each do that serves your life. This could be spending quality time with friends or delving into your favorite book or going from a run! Just choose to spend your time wisely and never let boredom settle in, because there is ALWAYS something you can be doing.
2. Don’t Take Things Personally: People in your life, tend to pretty much always let you down in one way or another, whether its a family member, friends or significant other – but it is so important to look at the bigger picture and not take a person’s actions as a personal attack against you. In reality, no one is against you, they are for themselves, despite how it may feel at times. Most of the time, those doing the disappointing actions don’t even realize the gravity of their actions towards you, because they are so concerned with how to best accommodate their own wants and needs, which is completely their right to do so. At that point, it is up to you to figure out who is worth keeping around in your life, because people are going to do what they are going to do and you can’t really change a person, no matter how hard you try!
3. Life is what you make of it: Contrary to popular belief, you are in full control of your life and what happens in it. Before moving to London, some people in my life, doubted whether I was going to be able to do it and asked what my alternative plan was, but in my mind, there was no plan B. Moving to London was something I was sure I wanted and pretty much nothing was going to stop me from getting here. I took every step I needed to get here and not for one second did I doubt that I would be in this amazing city. If you have full faith in yourself, you can get anywhere you want in life. PERIOD.
4. Break the rules: Coming from the U.S. many people buy into the whole American dream – go to school, get the job, get the mate, then eventually the house and kids and then retire and die. As I was going along with this trajectory, I was realizing that it is not really what it’s cracked up to be ( for me). I had this great job and lived in NYC doing the whole 9-6 grind and was starting to feel very unfulfilled. I felt like there had to be more to life than climbing up a corporate latter, which is why I decided to move to London and go to grad school to figure some things out for myself. For some people that really is the dream, but for others its not and that’s okay. There is no such thing as a recipe for happiness, nor is there one direct path in life that everyone needs to follow – sometimes it winds and curves and goes in a circle, but in the end, as long as you are living the best version of yourself, whatever that means to you, that is all that matters.
5. Love yourself: You are born alone and you will die alone. That seems a little morbid, but its true! I have seen it play out many times – people practically handing over the rights to their happiness to someone else which is so backwards. Back to the whole not taking other peoples actions personally thing, if you have 100% love for yourself, you won’t “need” it from others and instead you will have love to give. I think people look to others to fill a void in themselves, but that void will never be filled in the long run by anyone else but yourself. It definitely isn’t something that happens over night, but recognizing it in yourself and taking the steps to basically become your own best friend is the best way to cultivate amazing relationships with others in your life.