In less than 30 days, I will have been on this earth for 30 years. It’s a big number for me, and one that I’ve been self-indulgently thinking about a lot this past year (among many other things).
When do birthdays stop being fun?
I hope never.
My beautiful friend, who is a year younger than me, made herself a “30 things to do before I turn 30” list, and it’s inspired me to do the same. I realize I’ve given myself a lot less time, but 15 before 30 didn’t have quite the same ring to it.
The list started off ridiculously practical – a “to do” list of all the things I’ve been putting off for ages. But, they stand for all the ways I feel weighed down. If I’m going to be my best self in 2017, I figured I’d better start somewhere.
I wouldn’t say I’m a private person, but I am deeply self-conscious (is anyone surprised?). Even putting this list out into the world seems incredibly vulnerable, but I need you to keep me accountable. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear, right? I am excited to write about my progress and fill in the infinite pages of this space again. Because I’ve missed it.
Last weekend, I spotted this on a Post-It stuck onto a classmate’s bathroom mirror. It was from a book I had read in college, and it’s something that’s stuck with me ever since. It’s always relevant, but seems so especially important to say right now:
“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” – Paul Farmer
Yesterday marked 21 posts.
As a profoundly undisciplined individual, this is a big freaking deal for me. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. Well, I took more than 21 days, and some posts were less than substantial, but I’m here. On the other side of 21.
And yet, it only takes a look at a list of winners to make me feel thissmall.
Up until five minutes ago, I was feeling pretty great. I had woken up early and finished two online courses, sent out a long over-due email, gave and received love. And yet. In comparison to these amazing strangers, I felt like none of it mattered.
I realize we are all running our own race. The only person I should be trying to beat is myself. Yet, this is so hard for me remember when another accomplished person is a mirror, reflecting all the things I am not.
So, this is what I propose:
To surround myself with people I love. To live a life that makes sense to me. To continue to grow in ways that stretch me and scare me. To be better today than I was yesterday. To be happy for another’s success without making it about me. To know that a lot of things are not about me. To know success comes in many different forms, and resentment cannot coexist with joy.
Small accomplishments are still accomplishments.
And Happy Hump Day.
(Photo by Matt Blease, illustrator-extraordinaire)
We all want to be the best version of ourselves. Richer, thinner, kinder, pursuing our passions. I don’t know what your best self looks like but I know how hard it can seem to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Something that’s helped me from getting overwhelmed and falling into a shame spiral:
Do one thing today that gets you closer to your goals.
It’s blaringly obvious and almost idiotic in its simplicity but it’s true. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the enormity of writing a book or losing thirty pounds, that it can seem impossible. But one thing? One thing is so doable, even for me.
What that looks like for me, lately:
– move my body (for my the sake of my mood and my inner thighs)
– write (here)
– practice kindness
– read (better)
Be better today than you were yesterday. Even if it’s in the smallest of ways.