Once upon a time, I had aspirations to be a book publisher. I envisioned what it would take to get there–the blood, sweat, and tears–and I thought, “Hey, cool, that’s par for the course if you wanna be a Somebody one day.”
Isn’t that what being in your early twenties is about? Struggling a little bit? Crying with your friends about being broke, but having a good laugh afterwards over the proverbial bowl of Ramen noodles?
Related confession: I think Hannah Horvath on Girls is cool and funny and quirky. And I secretly admire her, because even though she’s totally broke and can’t hold a job for longer than a week, she’s still HAPPY. In the first episode, when her parents cut her off, her mom even says But she’s having expeeeeerienecs! When I saw that episode, I was like, “Right! I get that! Experiences! Screw money, being in your twenties is about growth and you don’t grow unless you’re experiencing some growing pains!”
I’m also really impressed by my friends who are working on seaweed farms in Ireland, climbing the fashion PR ladder to make it in the big leagues, and taking intensive publishing courses at NYU. I thought I was going to be exactly like them when I graduated- adventurous, brave, risky.
But I’m not. I chose the safe route. I live in an apartment complex with someone who’s more like family than a roommate, I have a steady full time job, I’m comfortably paying my bills, I don’t have student loans to pay off, and my biggest worry is not that I can’t afford to eat, but that I eat too much. I have, like Taylor, fallen on the “right” side of the statistics. And I know that I am sooooooo fortunate.
And yet sometimes I feel this pang like I’m not getting the full 20-something experience, that I’m not getting the initiation into the real world that is required of people that have big things ahead of them. I’m all too aware that the neighborhood where I live is 99% undergrad students, and that my roommate is virtually perfect (as far as roommates go), and that my job is safe and easy and something I’m good at.
Have I taken the safe and easy way because I’m scared to challenge myself, and will I be worse off for it in 10 years? Or am I being practical, laying low, and enjoying a relatively stress free life?
I still see myself as someone interesting and successful in 10 years, but am I doing what I need to be doing now in order to get there?
Does that make sense? Or am I a spoiled brat?
Enough with the rhetorical questions. On to…
Beth’s post was exactly what I wanted to read this morning. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my diet was a little less than ideal yesterday.
As health enthusiasts, we are often expected to be “perfect” in our eating habits and choices. And like anything else in life, we are our own worst critics. It’s so easy to get CONSUMED with guilt about a Klondike bar here, or a margarita there (woops…).
A healthy lifestyle for a person that’s not trying to lose weight is all about balance. But I could argue that a healthy lifestyle for a person that is trying to lose weight is about focus. Focusing on weight loss until the job is done, then transitioning to balance. I thought that I would be done losing the weight that I wanted to lose by the time I started my life in Charlottesville, and th at when I got here I could focus on balancing my health with other, equally important things (like my job and my social life).
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But I’m here now, and (imagine me saying this in a whiny toddler voice) I don’t want to be focused any more.
I say that Beth’s post was exactly what I wanted to read this morning because I was really struggling with this lack of focus thing last night. Conor was having a little get together at his apartment, and as all of my friends were taking tequila shots in the kitchen, I was feeling tremendous guilt for my health behaviors that day (not to mention the fact that I straight up forgot to work out on Monday since we had people over for dinner). I almost started crying as I was talking to Alex about whether I should stay in or go out, and I ultimately decided to stay in.
But you know what? I was bitter about it. It would be one thing if I felt good about staying in, but I wish I had gone out with my friends.
It’s a learning curve, this lifestyle change thing. But I love Beth’s fortune: “If you focus on results, you’ll never see change. If you focus on change, you’ll see results.”
What articles/blog posts are you relating to today?