This past week there has been a theme surrounding my life and I’m sure it has been on almost everyone’s mind at one point in their lives; growing up is hard.
In school we are required to learn math, reading, science, history, etc. Unfortunately, some classes that we are not required to take really could prove beneficial when we reach the “real world”; Financial Planning For Our Future, What it Means to Have Good Credit, Signing Your Life Away on Student Loans, What it Means to Be a Home Owner, What Career Are You Really Meant to Have?…you get the idea. (I know I’m probably one of the few but my goodness, I wish cooking and sewing were required at my school. I only took the first set of each of those – it would have been nice to continue to the harder level classes.) Obviously these are all things we learn by trial and error or if we’re lucky, our parents/grandparents/siblings have great advice and experience to offer.
But to me, I think the hardest thing about growing up is that it’s so easy to lose sight of who we are and what we really want to do. We forget how easy it was to just do something we wanted to do without the criticism of other people, or without having to prove to the world that our life is so unbelievably great. When I was little I would tell everyone who listened that I wanted to be the princess on the float in the parade, doing the feminine wave that we all saw Julie Andrews do in The Princess Diaries. Then the next week I was thriving to be an astronaut. Or a choreographer for the Backstreet Boys. Clearly all of these ideas that seemed wonderful to an 8-year-old don’t appeal to this now 25-year-old, but the idea of always having new goals or dreams (I like the word “dreams” much better :)) has almost never left me.
This past year has been one of my biggest growing years – probably even bigger than the leap from 6th grade to 7th grade (if you saw my yearbook photo you’d understand). Paul hates this saying because of how over-used it is (I can’t say I blame him) but I feel like I have “found myself” or that I know myself so much better than I did last year. I’m doing things that are good for my soul, I’m spending time with people that don’t make me feel bludgeoned with negativity, and I’ve gotten back to creating new dreams for myself, for Paulie, and our life together. Things that I wanted in my life last year are not the same things I want now, and yet things I wanted in my life when I was little are things that are present in my life today. Just because we’re adults in the “real world” doesn’t mean that we have to block the dreams we used to have or the dreams we want to have. I’m in a perfect place in my life right now but I can’t imagine being done with myself. There are still so many things I want to do, and learn; so many places I want to see.
Just because the “real world” is saturated with negativity, criticism, the stresses of everyday life, doesn’t mean you have to allow it to take over your life. Surround yourself with things that are good for your soul, things you want to do. Watch movies that warm your heart; listen to music that makes you want to dance; read books that give you that cozy feeling; drink that third cup of coffee (or tea :)); visit that restaurant you’ve always had your eye on; take a leisurely stroll instead of binging on Netflix; apply for that position that you’ve been wanting but were too afraid to take; learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to; put technology away for awhile; invite people you love over for dinner or brunch. Make your corner of the world a place you want to be and hopefully growing up won’t seem as hard. :)
(That photo of Paulie above? He’s my corner. :))