Next year I turn 30. It’s one of those milestones that always seems so big, so monumental, as if by starting a new decade a whole new set of expectations and responsibilities are placed on you. 30 just seems so…I don’t know…adult.
I remember being 21 and feeling like I would be young forever. 30 felt so far away. By 30, I would have everything figured out. I’d have the job, the apartment, the boyfriend, and the lifestyle that I wanted. At least that’s what is expected of us, right? The truth is – there is no wall in life. Not at 30. Not at 35 or 40. Or 50. Or whatever else age we deem the golden age of true adulthood.
Some people aren’t worried about having it figured out by now but for a long time I didn’t have that freedom. I had a very complicated adolescence and because of that I’ve always felt like a late bloomer, always achieving accomplishments a few years later than my peers. For awhile I was so worried about what I “should” be doing by now. Then I was like, who the hell cares?
It’s easy to feel stuck in life. It’s easy to feel inferior, to compare yourself to others, to doubt yourself, to look at your past and feel ashamed or stupid or embarrassed over all the little things you could have done differently. But what’s the point? Acceptance is bittersweet but necessary to evolve.
Fall is always a time of change for me. Saul Williams once wrote, “Two autumns and I have not changed enough.” That line (he says poem) is the same for me as well. I have not changed enough. I’m not the person who I want to be (yet) but it’s something I’m continually working on. The moment we become complacent with our lives is the moment we stop growing. I put these quotes together because they’re words I look back on every so often when I need a reminder and a bit of inspiration to get out of my head.
Everything has its seasons and those changes are painful but worth it. It’s what we do with them that matters.
Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep travelling honestly along life’s path. – Shauna Niequist
Do you have doubts about life? Are you unsure if it’s worth the trouble? Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky. It’s okay to be unsure. But praise, praise, praise – Miranda July
Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. – Jon Krakauer
When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life… fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do, and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change. – Eckhart Tolle
The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you. – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Human beings are so unbelievably stupid, that they confuse money with wealth. And they don’t realize that money is a measure of wealth, in exactly the same way that meters are a measure of length. They think it is something that is valuable in and of itself. And as a result of that get into unbelievable trouble.
In exactly the same way time is nothing but an abstract measure of motion. And we keep counting time. We have the sensation time is running out, and we bug ourselves with this. And as we sit and watch the clock, supposing you are working, are you watching the clock? If you are, what are you waiting for. Time off. Five o’clock. We can go home and have fun. Yeah, fun.
What are you going to do when you get home? Have fun? Or are you going to watch TV, which is an electronic reproduction of life which doesn’t even smell of anything. And eat a TV dinner which is a kind of a warmed over airline nastiness until you just get tired and have to go to sleep. You know, the great society.
This is our problem, you see. We are not alive, we are not awake. We are not living in the present. – Alan Watts
You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away. – C. JoyBell C.
I don’t have any problem understanding why people flunk out of college or quit their jobs or cheat on each other or break the law or spray-paint walls. A little bit outside of things is where some people feel each other. We do it to replace the frame of family. We do it to erase and remake our origins in their own images. To say, I too was here. – Lidia Yuknavitch
Don’t attach yourself to anyone who shows you the least bit of attention because you’re lonely. Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way. – Janet Fitch
This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died. – Kelly Cutrone
The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it. – Cheryl Strayed
If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move. – Anthony Bourdain
Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence. – Haruki Murakami