One of the best parts to growing up is shedding your old skin. I know, that sounds SO cringe, right? Like when you think of shedding skin you probably think of snakes, and maybe that’s not the best example. Because if someone calls you a snake, you probably need to reevaluate your life choices, right? But think of it at face value: snakes shed their old skin and are reborn in a way.
The same thing happens with us as we age.
I’m weeks away from turning 32 and as scary as being another year older can be, it’s also so exciting.
I look back at who I am now, and who I was ten years ago, and I see growth. Am I perfect? No. Am I the most practical adult? Absolutely not.
But do I make more sustainable choices that help me grow as not only a woman, but an adult? Absolutely.
I’m more focused on my goals, while balancing a life. When I was younger I just cared about getting the grades and getting into the school I wanted – which spoiler alert, I couldn’t afford USC for grad school so that was a major no. And let’s not forget, ultimately I wanted (and got) the dream jobs and city life.
On paper this sounded great. I got everything younger me wanted.
But as I age, I’m unlearning this culture of working myself into the ground and making things a part of my identity.
Listen – I believe in working hard for what you want. That part has not changed. But I also believe in enjoying life. There’s no prize for working yourself into an early grave.
No one will give a shit if you were the hardest working employee, and your A+ in Brit Lit won’t matter once the semester concludes.
What really matters is creating and living a life you’re proud of.
This year wasn’t without its challenges. Lord knows there were plenty. But really, you can only control what you can control. Period.
So that’s my takeaway as I close the books on 31. Focus on what you can control, but don’t hold on too tight. Just live. Do more of what makes you happy. Don’t worry about being liked, and most certainly don’t beg for people to stay in your life. That’s a big lesson. The right people will be there through the ups and downs. I suppose though, not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. And that’s okay.
Your best days are ahead. That’s one of the best parts of being an adult.
It’s wild how growing up I attached my happiness to things. And now that I have those things, I’ve shifted perspective.
So if you were to ask me, what happiness is…at this point in life, it’s pretty simple.
Happiness is being able to enjoy the fresh autumn breeze against your cheek as you sit on a pier in Seattle.
Happiness is feeling safe and loved with the people in your life.
Happiness is being okay with all of the parts of you that are so beautifully you, and authentic.
Happiness is not having to go out every night and be okay just being still.
Happiness is growth and growth is life. The best part, actually.