Sometimes you write for yourself. Example: An angsty teenage version of you scribbling dramatic poems into a Lisa Frank notebook.
Sometimes you do a little of both. Example: Self-serving Facebook statuses or stream of consciousness blog posts.
This list is a little of both.
I’m not saying that I know your deal. I don’t know what’s plagued you for your first twenty years of life and I don’t know what you’ve finally accepted about yourself that you never thought was possible. I do know what I’ve struggled with accepting and what I’m hoping to accept in the next three years before I turn the big 3-0. So scan this post and if it resonates, keep reading. If it doesn’t, why not make your own list of things to accept before your next big milestone?
1. Your body. Read this article about how to talk to your daughter about her body and then make an effort to apply it to how you talk to yourself about your body.
Do you really have something that you need to change in order to feel more comfortable in your skin or are you bummed because of the media’s portrayal of how you should look? If the former, acknowledge it and come up with a game plan! If you need to make acknowledgment an external process, watch this video about the “Emotional Freedom Technique” and then really say this to yourself: “Even though I have this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
2. Your budget. Yea, you either can afford it or you can’t afford it. Quit splurging today with the promise that you’ll scrounge tomorrow and come up with a real, live budget that allows you to afford a splurge every now and then while saving for retirement and the major purchases that you intend to make in the next few years.
3. Your fears. Maybe you’re scared that you’ll end up alone with no friends save your twenty cats. Maybe you’re scared of dark basements because you’ve watched one too many episodes of American Horror Story. Both sound terrifying to me. What’s important is that you start to realize what actions are motivated by your fears and if you’re okay with living in that box for the rest of your life. If you are, then go back to business as usual. If you’re not, then delve deeper to figure out what is causing your fear.
4. Your current state of mind. I don’t know if it’s an “American” thing or what but it seems that we’ve always got to be doing something while we’re doing something else. We don’t just sit down to eat dinner. We sit down to watch TV while eating dinner. We don’t walk the dogs without listening to music as well. When was the last time you did just one thing with your whole mind? Take some time to just listen to the sounds around you as you walk your dogs. Sit at the table without the television on while you eat dinner.
5. Your family. 5 out of 5 people admit that they have weirdos in their family. Okay, that’s not a real statistic but it’s probably true based on the people I hang around. It doesn’t matter! You don’t have to accept every single thing about your family members. You just have to love them anyway. Same goes for you: Your family members don’t have to accept every single part of you, they just have to love the whole you.
6. Your past. Odds are you’ve done some things that you’re not proud of when you reflect upon years gone by. These things happen and, if they didn’t happen, then you wouldn’t be the person who you are today. As you embark upon your third decade of being on this earth, you should come to terms with the fact that life is messy and this non-perfect state of messiness requires mistakes of all magnitudes.
7. Your present. When you were little, did you imagine that you would be CEO of your own company by now? A Stepford Housewife with five kids? Author of the next great novel? Are you any of these things? If so, congratulations! You were an appropriately ambitious kid, it seems. If not, have your goals changed since then or are you still working towards the same goal? I’ll let you in on a little secret: These one-size-fits-all milestones are bull. I know, this is literally in the middle of a post highlighting one of said milestones but what I’m saying is that you don’t have to have the same milestones are your neighbor or your sister or any of your friends. Maybe you reached your goals by 25 or maybe you won’t be that fancy CEO until 45. It doesn’t matter. Accept where you are now and what you’ve done to get there.
8. Your future. I don’t know about you but if I was little Ewan McGregor in Big Fish, I would not have looked in Helena Bonam Carter’s all-knowing witch eye. I for one do not want to know what the future holds because I want to live every moment until I get to it.
Besides, as Ralph Waldo Emerson may or may not have said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Why not focus on what lies within you rather than stressing about things that may or may not happen? You’re here, man.
9. Your diet. I’m not saying that you should just accept the fact that you indulge in unhealthy snacks more often than you should or anything like that. What I mean is that you should work to get your diet to a point that makes you happy by the time you enter your thirties. What’s your game plan for living a full, delicious life while treating your body with the respect it deserves?