This will be my last post as 24 year-old Ollin.
Of course, when we get close to our birthdays we can’t help but make some assessments about our lives. Where we’ve been and where we’re headed. We feel sad about the people we lost touch with, and smile at the thought of the new wonderful people who popped into our lives this year, if only for a brief moment. In awe of how old friendships got deeper. Distressed at how fast new friendships can fizzle out before they have even begun. We go over the hard decisions we had to make, about other decisions we regretted. The mistakes. The hunches we thought would be mistakes and now realize we we’re right on the money and should have listened to ol’ reliable intuition. The moments we totally embarrassed ourselves but were glad no one was watching. The moments we impressed ourselves and wished someone was watching. The good times. The really good times. The bad times. The really bad times. The times we were so certain that this or that situation would be the end of us, but somehow, we made it through. There are the questions we never got answers to. There are the answers we got, but didn’t like, but we accepted them anyway. Then there are those answers that did come, much faster than we thought they would, that kinda blew our mind.
We might marvel at how much we have grown. At how fast time moves when you look back at it, but how when you’re in it, time sort of, drags along, in a predictable sort of way. There are two things that are happening. The old you is leaving, the new you is taking its place. You kinda don’t want to say goodbye. It’s not that you wanna get stuck at a certain age, it’s just you were starting to get comfortable. You just started getting used to all that it meant to be that number. Used to saying it when people ask you, and now suddenly, the number’s changed. Okay you think, I guess I’m gonna have to get used to this new number means, and what it’s going to teach me, and what it’s going to help me with, and the joys and tears that it will bring, and, and, and, and… But I was just getting comfortable!
It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s really scary. It’s really exciting.
What I can say at this point, is that I used to judge a year in my life by whether I had “wasted” it or not. Goes to show you how my perspective has changed. That’s a HORRIBLE barometer! No, no. That won’t do. I think the way we should measure a year (other than love–cue the RENT song!) is by what it taught us, of course. I think this year I truly learned how to deal with the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of my person. It was a hard road to get there, let me tell you, but I have gotten there. Finally. I feel very confident and comfortable with these three areas of my life and I am ready to move on forward with other aspects of my life that need attention.
Those three aspects are:
3. Romantic Relationships
Oh boy. Each one of these makes me squirm.
I’ve always hated sports, and just could never get myself to love going to the gym. I’m turning 25 but I still have the body of a pre-pubescent boy. Not. Sexy. I’ve gotten a little bit better with eating healthier, but I seriously have no idea where to start about nutrition or protein shakes or whatever it is you’re supposed to eat daily so you don’t get cancer/diabetes/mad cow/third eye. (Wait, a third eye might be cool to have. Quick–what do I eat so I can get that?”)
As far as career goes: I was always good at being an artist, but not quite good at making a living out of it. I can get myself to write some pretty decent stories, but submitting them to places, looking to be represented, actually going out of my way and trying really hard to get someone to pay me to write–we’ll I’m not there yet. It’s not because it isn’t possible. I know a few of you who already make a living out of your writing, which is so inspiring. So I know it isn’t the writing itself. A career in writing CAN be had, it’s just I haven’t shown enough gusto to want to have it. I’m not gonna lie, I’m totally guilty of fearing rejection, fearing failure, and at the same time fearing success (do not ask me how that is possible.) There are several things that block me from this. I learned that emotional, psychological and spiritual limits can be removed when you apply focus, energy, and a willingness to face what blocks you. Seeing my success in these three areas means that now I can apply this same principle to my career with some confidence.
Then there’s #3 on the list. Uhhh… Ehhh… As you can see this one’s going to take not only year 25 of my life, but maybe 26 and 27 to get through… and 28, and 29, and… Let’s just say that the fact that I can’t even talk about number #3 without wanting to hyperventilate shows you that this is one area of my life I really need to improve upon.
Well, there you have it. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly. The good thing about 24 is that now I can accept it all. I don’t yet love it all, but I can accept it as who I am at this moment. I don’t like admitting that there is room to grow, but we have got to address these aspects of ourselves eventually right? So, why not now?
Join me in moving forward then. Pick an aspect or two you need improvement on and promise yourself you’ll put renewed focus on that part of you for the next year or two. (Please don’t make it more than three, don’t overwhelm yourself!) Start with small little goals for each one, and don’t hold yourself accountable for anything but trying to accomplish these goals, not on achieving them. The promise you will make to yourself is not that you became a new man or woman overnight, but only that you will try.
Which reminds me of one last thing I learned at age 24. Yoda was wrong. Trying is vastly underrated. You’d be amazed at how much you can grow if you just ask yourself to try, instead of demanding that you do or do not.
So here’s hoping for another year of progress. For me and for you.
much “a very very happy unbirthday to you… to YOU!”