As I hurried to work this morning, the rain making every commuter on edge and irritable, I tried to put my head in a good place. I turned 30 last winter. As I start a fresh new decade I'm proud of the person I have become. I had a fantastic childhood and teenage experience. Many people don't look back fondly on those years, but that's not the case for me. I had a loving home and was surrounded by amazing friends. We experimented, we pushed the boundaries, we talked for hours about the future we dreamed to create for ourselves.
My 20's were a bit messier. Life just wasn't quite as simple. Instead of the world being full of promise and hope, reality hit us. Some people landed on their feet, others fell a little harder. We had daunting choices to make of careers, marriages, cities to call home. I tried my best to make investments in my future --- choosing the person I wanted to partner with on this wild ride, we bought a house, we opened a business, we saved money so we'd have more choices down the road. Looking back on my 20's they were at times stressful. I experienced anxiety for the first time in my life. At times it was a challenge for me to step away from the buzz of who is working where, who is dating who, who is climbing faster and who is getting left behind.
But as my 20's came to an end, so did much of that angst. I rememebered how different we all are. The formula for my own happiness is entirely unique to me. Comparing is not only a totally useless exercise, it can be completely distructive. Trying to follow someone else's path is a virtually full proof way to never achieve genuine satisfaction with yourself. We don't know what is motivating others, what their fears are, what their dreams are... If we can know that about ourselves by this age, then I'd say we're doing pretty well! So, on that note --- a couple of things that I've learned about myself. Things that are truly critical for my life. I think that if I can keep focused on those things, how to build my life so that it allows for more of the things that bring me happiness and get less overwhelmed with stuff that just doesn't fulfill me I will continue moving in the right direction.
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let each new year find you a better person" - Benjamin Franklin
The Secrets to My Happiness......
1. Travel. No doubt about it. I have written a little about this already but travel does it for me. I could not live without it. I need to explore new places, try new food, experience people and culture different than my own. Luxurious or budget, domestic or international, city, country, beach. I truly don't care. I just like to go. I need to go. It's absolutely critical.
2. Love. Marriage has taught me a lot about myself. We will celebrate our 5 year anniversary next month. It's been a rollercoaster unlike anything I could have prepared for. My husband and I have fought hard to be where we are today. We overcame challenges I could never have imagined. It hasn't been a fairy tale but we keep at it. I am proud of us. I am proud of what we're creating. I'm proud that we didn't walk away. I'm proud that I'm still madly and hopelessly in love with the man I married. I simply couldn't have it any other way.
3. Space. I require a lot of independence. I like a lot of time to myself and am grateful that I have both a husband and a job that allow for that. I don't like to be micro-managed or asked to account for my time. It makes me feel suffocated.
And on a lighter note: red wine, my ipod, my family, driving, best friends, fall in New England and theme parties :)
Feel free to add your own if you're so inclined. It would be interesting to hear...