Quarter life crisis’ are not a myth, they do happen and I know I’m not the only one that has gone through one. I also may or may not have been going through one for the past few years and I’m not actually totally sure I’m done yet. Anywho, in honour of my recent 27th birthday I wanted to impart my newfound wisdom on all of you. Perhaps my reflection will resonate with you or maybe you’ve known all of this all along and I really am just clueless. Either way, here it is…
- I’m not perfect, at anything. Really, I’m not even good at most things and you know what? That’s okay. When it comes to parenting that’s not an exception. It is A-OK to be good enough, especially when you aren’t able to run at your fullest potential. We can’t always be racing at top speed, that isn’t going to get us anything but busted tires. Give what you can when you can and if you’re taking the time to reflect and better yourself as you go, that is exactly what you should be doing. We’ve all walked around in a messy bun, our PJs, and covered in spit up at some point and not even blinked an eye at it.
2. My life is messier than my messy bun and it’s cool because I’m figuring it out. What I really mean by this is my goals, my wants in life are kind of all over the place. It may be my ADD, but I find myself often torn between different paths in life. I want it all and I jump around, unsuccessfully admittedly. What I have learned about this is, aside from the fact that I’m acknowledging I do it, most of it stems from feeling torn in general. There are so many sides to me that want to be filled, that I want to nurture; there’s the creative artist, the writer, great mother, student, academic, social worker, and that one part that wants to lay around all day on my phone and eat while I watch movies and do nothing ( you know, the one that wins most often). Becoming a Mom made me more torn than I had ever been. I had always struggled with knowing what I wanted to do with my life but becoming a mom complicated that in so many more ways than I ever could have imagined. Aside from just being a mom and all that comes with that I didn’t have the time anymore, even when I felt like I had figured out what I really wanted my time was taken by the little monkey children in my home (admittedly the best time taker ever, even when they are little Tasmanian Devils instead of just plain ol’ monkeys). What I have learned is that with a lot of work, team work, some creative scheduling (read: no sleep – just kidding, please get sleep, you need it!), and some well planned out goals I can do it all. It takes a lot of work, but it gets easier and you become more capable. If you want something in life, you must go for it, truly go for it or it won’t happen. Things don’t just fall into your lap, no matter how much you wish they would.
3. I’m basically a chameleon and that is actually really cool. Being frustrated with not knowing exactly who I am all the time is not a bad thing. You see, as we grow and age, we learn, we change; hopefully for the better but I’ve met some old people that kind of missed the boat on this one. I use to think that people couldn’t change; deep down, its all ingrained and it all primarily stays the same. Looking back, I’ve seen myself change, not at the core of me (but honestly, that’s not something I’d want to change, I like who I am fundamentally) but in every other way. If I allow myself to learn and make changes as I go, I change for the better. We evolve and if Pokemon has taught us anything, it’s that you want to do that. Especially if you’re a Magikarp.
4. That even though looking around it seems like everyone else has their shit together (I’m pretty sure that is the actual purpose Facebook was created). They likely don’t have their shit anymore together than you do. The trick is to find the people that have the stuff you haven’t figured out yet and get to know them. Learn from each other. #lifehack Seriously, find you some friends that lift you up.
5. Bad stuff is going to happen and even when you’re at the lowest of your lows there is always a way up and out. You just have to find it. I know that was totally cheesy and really some things are just completely out of our control but if the last 18 months has taught me anything it’s that I am resilient. In the past 18 months alone I’ve had pregnancy complications, had a traumatic labour, was in heart failure, had emergency surgery, dealt with mental health issues (depression, anxiety, OCD), had a miscarriage had more health issues, dealt with my children’s issues and been there for them, and dealt with normal life on top of all of that. I could be a sad clown painting at this point, but I’ve learned that it’s just life. That I am strong, I will push forward, and even if I can’t always find the way through right away and I may not navigate anything seamlessly, eventually, I get there. Even if I am falling up stairs as I go, I’m not all that clumsy but my life is.
6. When I was a kid I wasn’t a great runner, I couldn’t run very fast or for very long. I was athletic in other ways; I danced, played volleyball and did a few other things that interested me. Anyway, regardless of my lack of ability every year I signed up to do the 300-metre run. I was always one of, like, 6 brave souls to do this. I partly did it because it gave me a better chance to win and move on to the next level at another school. There was seriously no other way I’d be able to do that. I usually came in fourth. One year I placed second or third, I don’t even remember which, but I also placed in the long jump. How? I have absolutely no idea. If you know me, you know I can’t jump, and I am ridiculously short. I did it though, and I was so happy about it. I even took it seriously. My Mom’s boyfriend took me running and helped me train, I really wanted to do well. It was incredibly hard work, but I pushed through and I did it. Have I mentioned I hate running? Really hate it but I needed to do well in this. When it came time to go to the next school for my two events, I didn’t do well (I’m being polite about this, I really stunk) I came dead last in the 300-metre run, and probably also in the long jump. Clearly this happened a good 15 years or so before my mid twenties, but I am mentioning it because I realized something recently that I had actually learned then. It is okay to fail. Sometimes failing is what is best for you. We cannot all win everything, we cannot all succeed at every single thing we set out to do. We don’t all win that awesome contest, we don’t all get that perfect job we would die for. I don’t normally take failure very well. When I lost those events, I knew I had lost almost as soon as we had started, there was no way I could catch up. An attitude adjustment wouldn’t have changed that. Sometimes, that is life. When I lost those events, I was bummed about it for a few minutes as it was happening, kicked myself a bit for not trying harder or practicing more (although I had practiced very hard) but as soon as it ended I was laughing at myself. I was happy I gave it a shot and knew it wasn’t my thing, that it just wasn’t something I was good at and that I didn’t care all that much for it anyway. Failure is scary for me, but it doesn’t have to be, we need to fail to grow. I mean, how else are we going to know we run slower than a sloth?
Have any life lessons to share with me? Maybe your 20’s taught you some things to, let me know in the comments!