It’s already the end of another year. Can you believe it? This is my favorite time of year for a multitude of reasons: it’s the holidays, quality time with family and loved ones, great food, sweatpants, you know- all of the important things. Another great thing about this time of year: it’s almost my birthday!
Being less than a month from my 26th birthday, I am in a state of reflection. I cannot believe how fast time flies! Not only am I getting older, but I am in awe at how much I’ve grown in the past few years. I am a completely different person from when I was 18, 21, and even vastly different than I was at 23. Every age brings a different set of concerns, but my 25th birthday hit me the hardest. It’s a milestone age accompanied by a mountain of societal stresses and implications.
Last year around this time, I was plagued with questions like “Am I where I’m supposed to be?” “Am I going in the right direction?” “What am I really doing with my life?” This triggered a “quarter of life crisis”, if you will. I was okay with where I was, but I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I questioned everything and wondered why I was stuck in the conundrum of knowing that the world is at my fingertips, but not quite knowing what to do with that, or how to even begin.
As I sit on the precipice of my 26th birthday, I kind of chuckle at myself. I thank God for progress and growth. Yes, I still get preoccupied with some of these worries or fears from time to time, but I’m no longer stifled by them. Instead of letting these looming questions become roadblocks, I can now use them as fuel and as guides. I still don’t have all the answers, but that’s okay. I’m learning to be still when I need to, keep pressing forward when I need to, but most of all, to enjoy the ride. In light of my impending birthday, I wanted to share some lessons and thoughts that I have discovered along the way:
Your thoughts determine the quality of your life.
Your mind cultivates the world around you. If everything that’s going on inside your head is negative, then that’s all that you will manifest in your life. It’s all you’ll be able to see. We have to be cognizant of what we think and what we say to ourselves. Negative self talk will keep you from achieving your dreams. If you say enough bad stuff about yourself to yourself, you just might start believing it. The mind is a powerful tool. Be kind to yourself and learn to be the master of your thoughts.
The only thing in life you can control is yourself.
The only things in life I can control are my intentions, actions and responses. My intentions are my motives behind everything I do. My actions are what I choose to do, and my responses are how I choose to respond to my circumstances. We cannot control what happens to us or around us, but we can choose how we respond. I am much more peaceful since I let go of my need to be in control of everything.
I first learned this concept during yoga. To “be” is to be fully in the present moment mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It sounds easy, but we are constantly bombarded with thoughts of what we should be doing, could be doing, would rather be doing, or need to be doing, that we tend to miss out on the present moment. I know this is especially tough for my generation because we are so used to being connected with everyone and everything all the time that it becomes hard to just be sometimes. Being present helps you connect with yourself at your core. Having this connection is vital to your success and well-being. If you don’t have that intimate relationship with yourself, then how do you know what it is that you truly need or want?
I am enough
This is one of the hardest and most important lessons I have ever learned, and am still learning. For whatever reason, humans tend to be conditioned to believe that we are not good enough. Whatever happened in our past- whether trying to make someone proud, failing at something, or being rejected by someone or from something- has taught us that we are not good enough. This is a lie. I used to be a perfectionist but then it hit me- I’ll never be perfect. Perfection is an illusion. We are so much more than our mere accomplishments. We are fearfully and wonderfully made up of a spirit, a mind, grit, willpower, humor, mistakes, insecurities, confidence, beliefs, and most importantly love. The moment we learn to detach our value from things and people is when we can really start to fly. I am enough!
Jason Quaynor says
I love this post. You tied in all of your life lessons all into one. I pray that more people come across this! Thanks!
Carlie Carpio says
Thank you so much Jason!