Today is my birthday! I legitimately feel old, not because of the number, but because I keep forgetting it actually is my birthday. Usually, I have a good sense of it because it’s always around Labor Day so my birthday equals the end of summer. This year though? Farthest thing from my mind. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe it says more about the crazy (but amazing) summer I’ve had than my birthday. Who knows.
It’s my last year in my 20s! I know a lot of women tend to celebrate their 29th birthday for a few years (if you know what I mean), I’m actually looking forward to my 30s. I figure my birthday post next year will be a lot more substantial and meaningful because it’s such a “big” year.
Last year I wrote about four lessons I learned. It was a much bigger year (mostly because it included a breakup) and I’d say that going through those things pushes you to learn a lot more about yourself.
I knew I’d still write something for this year’s post and I have been toying with what I would say for a while. Honestly, this year seems like a blur. So much has happened and changed (like moving to New Jersey!). There weren’t any major pitfalls, so it was pretty much smooth sailing, which I cannot complain about.
I thought that this year, I could share one thing I think I “nailed” and one thing that I still need to work on. (Basically, I’m giving myself a performance review for the past year 😂) I knew exactly what they were without thinking too much because it’s been at the top of mind for a while now. Funny enough, they’re sort of related to each other.
What I Did Well
If you told me that I would be able to just “go with the flow,” I would think you were crazy. For most of my nearly three decades of living on earth, I have been the opposite of going with the flow. I’m a planner and I don’t like surprises. I want to go into everything in life as prepared as possible.
In the past, I would…
Overpack so I’d have everything I could possibly need. Carry large handbags with all the essentials for every kind of emergency that might pop up. Only go on trips with advance notice and lots of planning. Look up menus at restaurants beforehand, research multiple forms of directions, say no if I was even slightly unsure of how something might play out.
I don’t know what exactly changed, probably just getting older and having fewer “effs” to give, but I just don’t care that much about everything being perfectly planned. I am much more willing to do everything and anything.
This isn’t to say that I love every minute of it or don’t worry about not having something I need (the packing anxiety might always be with me), but I still GO. I’m, at least, saying yes and just doing it. And you know what? Things have a way of working themselves out.
Just this week, as a perfect example, I wasn’t sure if I was going to DC on Tuesday or not. And it was 2 pm on Monday… I was, to be fair, a tiny bit stressed, but I figured, if I’m going, great and if not, then I have two more days at home. Felt like a win/win… and, of course, by 3 pm, my train and hotel were booked and the trip went off without a problem.
All things considered, I’d still prefer things to be planned, but I know that I can (and will) go with the flow if I need to. It’s just opened so many more doors for me and made me realize that everything works out and it’s OKAY if things don’t go exactly as planned.
What I Want to Do Better
Playing off with the positives of going with the flow, I do feel like just because I can just roll with whatever, it doesn’t mean I should or have to completely or at all. There have been more than a few occasions where I’ve gone along with something, even though I didn’t really want to or knew it wasn’t for me. Sometimes I haven’t done my best to stand up for what I need (or want) in a certain scenario. Part of it is that I want to be easy going and low maintenance, but I still have my own set of needs and wants. And, I’ve learned and know, that if I don’t establish what they are, no one else is going to.
I think my tendency while going with the flow is to think of things as binary: I go along with whatever and don’t share my input. It’s actually much more fluid and I just need to be better about standing up for myself. It’s not being high maintenance, it’s expressing what I need in a particular moment.
When I have expressed something that I want to do or gave a suggestion for something I downright need, I always feel better and enjoy the experience, whatever it is, so much more. And I’m not asking to move mountains or anything. so it never affects people as much as I imagine it would in my head.
So, cheers to making the most of my very last little bit of my 20s!