I have a semi-perm smile in this video. I can’t help it, I was talking about hair. Thanks to Melissa for including me in her campaign to change the way women think about their features… the good, the bad and the hairy.
The things that mattered to me most at 21 are so far from my mind today, at 31. But then there are some things that seem to stick to your core, like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth, that gum you swallowed seven years ago or that one magical line from that book that changed your life. There are some things that feel as though they stay with you, forever. Here are a few of mine.
When I was 21, I wanted to be a famous writer. I still do.
When I was 21, I wanted to see as many parts of the world as possible. I still do.
When I was 21, I loved this one boy. I still do.
When I was 21, I craved adventure and sought it. I still do.
When I was 21, I hated cheesecake. I still do.
When I was 21, I wanted so badly to leave my mark on the world. I still do.
When I was 21, I loved the feeling of stepping into a classroom. I still do.
When I was 21, I questioned every decision I made. I still do.
When I was 21, I had high hopes for my dreams and ambitions. I still do.
When I was 21, I thought about my life 10 years down the road. I still do.
When I was 21, I hated wearing high heels, but did anyway. I still do.
When I was 21, I thought about living by the ocean someday. I still do.
When I was 21, I lived at the keys at my computer. I still do.
When I was 21, I cried at the thought of losing hope. I still do.
When I was 21, I told myself I would do great things someday. I still do.
When I was 21, I would watch 70s sitcoms for hours. I still do.
When I was 21, I wished so much for life-long happiness. I still do.
When I was 21, I thought of myself as my own best friend. I still do.
When I was 21, I dreamed bigger than I was told I should. I still do.
When I was 21, I made a list of goals to achieve by my next birthday. I still do.
…and when I think of all the things I haven’t yet achieved, every day I do my best to take a good look at myself in the mirror and say, “I still can”.
I hope you do, too.
Ok, so it’s Saturday night-ish and I totally get that blogging on a Saturday is like, breaking a cardinal blogging rule. Or something. Word on the street is that people have better things to do than read blogs on a Saturday. But I don’t care, I’m going to post anyway. You know why? Because the mood has struck, and I’m all about blogging while I’m in the mood. Not “the mood” though, because that’s really none of your business. Or my husband’s. Just kidding.
It has absolutely occurred to me that my List is a plan of sorts. A way of creating a path to the things that are important to me. It has absolutely occurred to me that my plan could fail. But I happened to know that there is something more powerful, more intense, more gravitational, more deluxe, and more stupendous than a plan…
How could I do that? And then just leave with a picture of Turkey Bacon ‘n Eggs, just because I like it? Totally off-side. But you came back, and I’m glad you did. I can only hope you feel my answer was worth waiting for. Truth? it’s sort of become the corner-stone of my reinvention (I decided this last night, while drinking. Doesn’t matter). It’s my secret weapon for when [insert higher power here] decides to have at ‘er with my carefully-planned-planned-for plans. So, without further ado, the thing more mighty than a plan is…
In every failed plan – from the wrong entree, to the wrong job, to the wrong guy/girl, to the wrong opener to your book – there is an opportunity to:
-Test what you are really made of
-Learn how creative your are in the face of disaster or derailment
-Feel how resilient you are
-Use your optimism
-Understand, I mean really get, how badly you want that thing that didn’t go according to plan, because if you want it bad enough, you will find an opportunity to get it
I’m going to start taking my own advice.
Since turning 29 two months ago and beginning to check things off of my “Before I Turn 30 List”, I’ve taken a good look at my life. Here’s what I’ve found:
1. Overall, I have a good life. I’ve seen people who have what most would consider “a shitty life” and you know what? That’s not me. I need to start giving myself credit for the things I have accomplished – it’s the only way to truly know what it is to be successful.
2.Taking a good look at yourself isn’t easy, but it’s always necessary.
3. If you plan to make a List To Change Your Life, be prepared to ask yourself a lot of questions. And then be prepared for the answers. (Bring ice. Sometimes the truth hurts.)
4. I’ve never really failed at anything. That’s not good. Instead, I’ve quit a whole bunch of times and in the process totally short-changed my potential. I failed to see the opportunity at times and now, at 29, I understand that it is far better to fail and get the satisfaction of having had the experience than not trying at all.
5. Regrets = bad news. If you have regrets, chances are you’ve failed to see the opportunity in said situation. Again, I’ve learned this the hard way. Attention 20-somethings!
Opportunity is the thing that lies in between the cracks of failure.
Opportunity bridges the gap between your regrets and your lessons.
Opportunity is greater than the plan.
And [insert higher power here]‘s got nothing on that.