The Wisdom of 33

And so, another year of my life has come and gone, but something about this one feels off. Usually, I’m excited to begin a new year, but this time I can only say that I am ready. I have resigned myself to it.

I have hardened my heart for what is to come. Sure, there will be happiness and new experiences, but there will also be more challenges, more disappointment, and more suffering too. It’s funny how the good stuff is never enough to sustain you through the bad. It’s funny how existing gets harder and harder. This is what it means to age.

Thirty-three has been the hardest to handle. My 30s have been great so far, but there have been some strange changes to my body and a sombering of the mind I wasn’t prepared for. I am definitely coming to understand the importance of exercise and eating right, but I’ve learned more than that too. I’ve learned to see the boundary between myself and I’m beginning to understand its purpose. I’m growing wiser, I think, and I thought I would share some things I’ve learned off the top of my head.

  1. You hardly know yourself at all.
  2. Toxic ways of thinking are contagious. Protect yourself.
  3. Some of your problems are your own fault.
  4. Minding your own damn business is self-care.
  5. If someone you don’t like, doesn’t like you, let it go.
  6. Listen when it isn’t your turn to speak. Breathe before you respond.
  7. You could be wrong.
  8. Your feelings are all in your head, and they are 100% real.
  9. A quiet life can be a good life too.
  10. Make things that don’t exist on the internet.
  11. Ask all the questions you need. Deal with the answers you are given.
  12. Yeah, it could be worse, but it could be better too. Figure out how.
  13. Your body is going to fail, be ready.
  14. Relax into your relationships.
  15. Get a dog. Get any pet at all.
  16. Have serious conversations. Explore the heavy stuff with people.
  17. Break the rules every once in a while, unless you’ve already been warned.
  18. People don’t belong to you, and you don’t belong to them.
  19. Schedule your mental health days.
  20. Look up at the moon and stars. Notice when the sun rises and sets.
  21. Share playlists.
  22. Think about death.
  23. Let people know they mean something to you.
  24. It’s never as bad as you think.
  25. It’s never too late.
  26. If it’s important to you, it is important.
  27. Even if you know you will fail, try anyway.
  28. Make a list of all the things you are avoiding, figure out why.
  29. Be honest with yourself, and with others, about your fears.
  30. Keep a journal. Write all the bad stuff out, then write 5 good things.
  31. Protect your focus—and all of your other boundaries—at all costs.
  32. Water your plants. Water yourself.
  33. Let yourself be sad, angry, bored, hungry. Let yourself be.

That’s all I have for today, but it’s more than I had a year ago, five years ago, and 10 years ago I had almost nothing. I hope what I have helps you, or at least reminds you of what you already know. I hope to have gained more wisdom next year. I’ll consider it a personal failure if I don’t.

P.S. My birthday was actually last Friday. I wrote this then but didn’t have the courage to post it until now. It’s hard to share my story sometimes, even when it’s being served up in a simple list post.

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Photo by Lora Mipsum on Unsplash

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The Week’s End – A Round-up of Interesting Stuffs

Starbucks Wants to Talk to You About Race

It takes a lot of training and a lot of institutional support to teach people things they would rather not hear. I wonder what kind of training and support the hourly wage baristas at Starbucks will get

If you haven’t heard the news, Starbucks recently announced the decision to encourage their baristas to initiate conversations with their customers about race by writing “Race Together” on certain customers cups. After the announcement Twitter erupted into hilarity. Well I thought it was funny anyway, one Starbucks exec didn’t though and had to delete his account.

This article, written by Tressie McMillan Cottom, addesses the obvious issue of having untrained, and possibly unwilling, employees discuss race, but not racism, discussed in a public setting. Spoiler alert: The obvious issue is that it is stupid.

I’ve Waited My Whole Life to Be Thirty Years Old

You know that movie where Jennifer Garner magically wishes herself from age thirteen to thirty? Yeah, teenage me would have taken that deal in a heartbeat. To me, thirty has always represented having power, being an adult, finally being taken seriously.

Me and all my friends are turning 30 this year and they all seem so bummed but I for one am happy to get out of my 20s. I’m going into my 30 feeling much more confident and comfortable with myself and I have a better handle on life and my own wants and needs. I think my 30s are going to ROCK!

That’s what I think most days, other days I think my life is practically over. Reading articles like this one have kept me positive about it though. 

Writing When You Might Be Wrong

So what does happen? Sometimes nothing. But other times something awesome: people bring you knowledge in return. They’ll tell you why you’re right or wrong.

One thing I struggle with is wanting to writing about things I may not know everything about. I am afraid to write about because I might say something that’s wrong and be emarassed when I get my ass handed to me in the comments. Even when I think I do know something I am afraid to write about it because I might not know what I think I know. I realize this in the middle of writing a post and freeze, save it to my drafts, then delete it a week later.

But this article made me rethink my fear of being wrong. Maybe being wrong is ok because it invites discussion and interaction. If someone points out where I may be wrong, that means they reached out to me, which is always a good thing in blogging. Plus I may just learn something too!

Luscious Space Photos Made Hacking Old Scanner

You could look at Baraty’s fictional space mission as photographic research. It’s amazing what the human eye will fall for given the right combination of context and mystery.

Adding this to my list of “Things I Wish I Had Thought Of First” and the list of “Things I Am Going to Try Anyway Even Though Someone Else Did It Because It Looks Like Fun”. Its artsy and nerdy, images that resemble stars and planets in space made from substances found around the house and an old scanner. Genius!

25 Psychological Life Hacks Help Gain Advantage Social Situations

Social situations are among the most important in our lives. Yet, there is a huge chance that you are oblivious to the plethora of unwritten social rules that structure everybody’s behaviour

I hate list posts but every once in awhile I read one that actually makes me think. I also hate posts that tell me how to take advantage in social situations because it’s usually about selling someone something and feels sleazy as hell. This list was the exception to both the above statements. I don’t know if it was the article or my state of mind when I read it but I looked at it as a list of things to keep in mind so I don’t feel so lost and anxious in social situations. I took it a a road map to feeling more confident and in control so that I can enjoy social situations more.

Amanda Palmer Reads Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska

A beautiful poem. I had never heard it before, me not being a big poetry buff, but I am trying to listen to or read at least one new one every week. The Brain Picking’s blog and Soundcloud account is usually the first place I look and yesterday I found this. I have to listen a few more times to really take it in, and I don’t agree with every line but it is a nice poem and I wanted to share it here with you all.

So that’s it for this week. If you have read or written anything interesting you’d like to share, please, drop a link in the comments and I’ll check it out. Happy weekend everyone :)