by amber dawn pullin
1. Nobody grows up.
Age does not bring maturity. Experiences, self-awareness, learning from the choices you made (or did not make) all seem to make for a more mature person than just seeing another calendar mark your birthday. The positive side to this is that in your older years (oh, say 35 or so) you're still going to feel like someone who is in their '20s (in fact, you'll be far more aware of years gone by) but you'll also see that 50 is not so far away. You'll come to understand why people in their '80s will be very much in their own world. Inside their heads, they aren't as old as they appear. (It's magic!)
2. Nobody has it all together.
Sure, they make it look like they got everything locked down, but there's always at least one thing or some aspect of their life that is in chaos, or going to pieces. It's the way things work. You can have a great job and a crappy relationship. Or a crappy job and a great relationship. Can you have both at the same time? Sure, but how is your health? Your friends? Finances? How are things? There is always something going wrong. That's how these things work. It's as if we're not allowed to have everything be good all at once so that we always have at least one thing to remind us that we're human beings, not robots. Even Oprah has issues, am I right?
3. Hindsight is 20/20, just like they say.
It's so very true that with some time, if you look back, certain circumstances are going to look different to you. Don't spend time hating on yourself but accept the knowledge of what you have learned from that moment. You've probably realized that what you spent so much time worrying about was not good at all. Or you can see now exactly where your objective and much more insightful friend was coming from when they told you that person was no good for you. "If I had only known..." and "If I had only listened..." are common thoughts but don't dwell. Take what you need from the lesson and move forward. Of course we know better now about that situation - we've since learned more about the circumstances or maybe the outcome hit home. All I know is that if you live long enough and if you happen to be one of those people who thinks about their decisions in life or dwells on past choices from time to time, you're going to have several moments of "well, if I had known then what I know now...!" Just go with it. This is a part of life and is going to happen to you a LOT.
4. Your body is not the enemy.
It's not. It's made to protect you. It will do insane things to try to do that. Much of that is against what we're putting into our bodies. How we don't take care of them. How distracted we get. The stress. There are so many ways to forget how we should be kind to ourselves. If you're anything at all like me, you may have been punishing yourself for a long time. You're going to wake up one day and realize that it's time to set the sword down. It's time to take care of this body, to nourish it and be kind to it, because it will only get harder as you age. The younger you can be when you realize this, the healthier you'll be and the more enjoyment you'll get out of life. I wish I could say I'm at that stage now but this is one I have got to work on. If you take anything from this point, it's that whatever your beliefs, this body holds all the great things about you. All the wonderful things you could become or already are. This body is carrying all of it for you, through everything in life. Shouldn't we have more vegetables? Drink more water? Go easy on the bad foods? Isn't that the least we could do for it?
5. People will tell you and you will not listen.
Oh, you've heard the above points before? Me too. Did I incorporate it into my life? No. That's part of how it works. We don't actually pay attention to much of what we're told unless we feel it's relevant to our experience. Even when some helpful information may pertain to us, we may not listen unless we are of the mindset and inner strength to follow up on the advice. Life seems to be about mostly learning the hard way. About figuring things out on our own. About making many mistakes (or choices, if you prefer) that may or may not ruin your life for a span of time. Share truth and wisdom but realize that just as you didn't truly comprehend what you were told, others likely won't, either. I live in a building where there are several senior adults. They know a thing or two about life. It is rare when they say something to me but now I listen a little bit more. These people are of the generations before we shared our thoughts on social media sites. They are more private and reserved. But remember, they've already learned many of the lessons you might now be experiencing. They know about hindsight, getting old, about the body, wear and tear of time, of the process.
I imagine that people reading this now are more so of my generation or younger. For years we have been consumed by consumerism, celebrity influence, technology advancing more in thirty years than in the previous one hundred and of relationships changing faster than a status update. It can be overwhelming. It can be a lot to handle on top of our daily in's & out's, at war with not only our bodies but our minds, our self-esteem, our selves.
Figure out who you are and be that person. Change as needed. Be true to yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself. Indulge in hobbies and interests. Be kind to people. Listen more. Remember how to play. Ask for help. Forgive. Give yourself permission to learn. Whatever you're going through, whether it's the best time of your life or the worst, remember this day won't come again. Life has a cyclic nature. Things change.
You are the navigator of your life.
If you don't know where you're going, find out where you are.