My 24th birthday is on Saturday, and I wouldn’t be who I am without doing some self reflection. Besides having a disastrous 23rd birthday, (no joke. If you ever think it’s a good idea to have 30+ people at your birthday party and drink a ton of wine beforehand, THINK AGAIN) 23 was good to me. I grew more comfortable in my career, made new friends, and traveled to Japan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bali! It was a good one.
Of course, 23 has its challenges, but as my mother always says, with each challenge or setback comes a lesson. Here’s what I learned.
Hanging out in Ubud, Bali!
This took me a whole year to learn, but it is so important. It is just my nature to be VERY close to a lot of people… so when a it’s not reciprocated, my feelings tend to get hurt. I know, it’s lame. I had a lot of shifts in friendships this past year; but looking back that’s normal. Especially because I live in a very transient place (people come to Shanghai for just a few years at a time, it’s not really a place you settle down in), of course my friendships change.
If I could have talked to myself a year ago, I would have told myself that every friendship is different, and to take some of the pressure off. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life.
One of my biggest successes of this past year has been starting my masters degree, and even though the work is annoying, I’m actually enjoying (most of) it. I feel really confident in my job, especially when I’m in the classroom. Sometimes the administrative paperwork and collaborating with other adults (being honest, I was the kid growing up who HATED group projects) gets me down, but the actual teaching part is AWESOME.
Messy hair but LOVING life eating in a treehouse in the Maldives!
You can call me hippie dippy and weird, but I do believe in energy. And when I’m putting good energy into the universe, good things happen. When I’m positive and the best version of myself (and well rested and well hydrated), good things happen. There’s no shame in putting yourself first. Making my students wait an extra day to get their graded tests back is worth it if I can get a full nights sleep and am a better teacher tomorrow.
Unfortunately. In career, life, and friendship. And if you don’t know what you want in any of those areas, don’t be surprised if less than stellar things happen. Le sigh.
For years, my word was depressed or anxious. I used it as a crutch, even for really small things. (I am so tired today, because YOU KNOW PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION SLEEP A LOT). Of course depression and anxiety is a part of my life, but it’s not at the point it once was. By getting serious with yoga this past year, I think I really became equipped with the skills needed to go off my anti-depressants and be more confident in my own coping mechanisms. (More on this in a future post). It’s been a long road to get to where I am, and I’m damn proud of it.
When we label someone with just one word (depressed, crazy, straight, gay, feminist, etc.) we don’t really get to see the whole picture of who they are. And that’s lame.
Skiing last Christmas in Japan!
This year, I hope to be a little more confident, grow professionally, travel new places, learn to trust my intuition more, and continue to grow my yoga practice. 24, you’ve got big shoes to fill!