It’s true, folks. Science and research and all that good stuff have shown that the brain (typically) isn’t fully developed until 25. *I say typically because I think we all know someone who challenges that notion just a tad and makes you ask the question “and you’re how old??” more often than not.
fun fact: this coming Saturday, I will be turning 26. and will have run out of a fabulous excuse for all of the poor decisions I have made during the past 25 years of my life. Not that I’ve ever clinged to that really. Nor is my life full of poor decisions. I’m pretty level headed…mostly. But I am tired of the poor decisions I’ve made…and continue to make, most of them related to my own thought processes as well as maybe a slight disregard for myself when it comes to how others treat me and allowing myself to be used or taken advantage of.
back to it. so I think I’ll use this 26th year of life. …or technically 27th because from 0 -12 months was 1 year, right?…idk. I think I just confused myself…um…let’s rephrase, shall we? I think this upcoming year, as a 26 years old free-spirited-Latina, will be used as time to move forward and improve upon those aforementioned areas. (Apparently, internship applications, dissertation writing, preparation for teaching 2 courses, counseling college students, and every-day-social-role-obligations aren’t enough for me so I had to add self-improvement to the mix)
In no particular order, here are those poor decisions:
`the poor decisions of limiting sleep to 4-5 hours to “fit it all in”
Exploration: honestly, I can do with little sleep. But little as in 5 ½ to 6 ½ hours and not the average 4 ½ I tend to give myself. If I can pay more attention to the correlation between sleep and a million things I complain about (like complexion, stress, energy, daytime-sleepiness, productivity, clear-mindedness, and probably tons more), I think I’ll be able to make and maintain this change.
`the poor decision of letting guilt trips affect me as much as they do
Exploration: I let them get to me more than I should, I think. No, I know. “Them” refers mostly to family, but also to some friends/acquaintances, who don’t fully understand the million things that are required of me or who do but seem to not give two shits about it. …sorry, I’ll try to maintain my composure a bit more. But for reals, it’s happening more often now. It’s getting tiring. The attempts at guilting me into doing something or being somewhere are coming more frequently. I want-need-hope to grow a pair (of cojones, balls, ovaries; take your pick). to tell them, “listen foo’, I actually am that busy.” Morning to night and sometimes past. There’s always something I am doing, should be doing, or thinking about needing to do related to me graduating and finally being done with school for the rest of my life (in the being-a-student sense). Or one of the aforementioned teacher-writer-student-counselor-trainee-multitude-of-social-roles duties. It’s my reality. If I could have it my way, of course I’d (probably) choose to go out every night, spend every single family gathering sitting and interacting and doing nothing, running errands for others…you get the point. I admit I’ve missed my fair share of birthday parties and cookouts but I get no credit for the million other things I’ve done in attempts for balance. And I’ve blamed myself. Because some people are really good at spinning things around to make you (i.e. me) feel like it actually is your/my fault. [aaaand breathe]. So no more. I’ve made my peace with my reality. that’s all I can do. …but I’ll keep working on growing a pair (again, take your pick of what)
`the poor decision of critically (read: negatively) evaluating every part of my body (and, as a result, my being)
Exploration: I’ve acknowledged my issues openly mostly openly regarding body image and all that jazz. Sometimes acknowledgment is the first and most difficult step. For me, it kinda wasn’t. introspection is sorta my thing. It’s the moving-forward-from-here part that I suck at. I’m getting better I have my moments that are better. which I recognize now as good steps forward. There’s this saying:
Makes sense, no? I know full acceptance, for me, isn’t around the corner…or around the bend…or perhaps even around the world for that matter. But it’ll come. I know it will. It may take
a few failed attempts a few cha-cha steps. but, at the most basic and important level, I am grateful every day I wake up and breathe a new breath, for every day that I get to interact with individuals who teach me beyond imaginable and love me beyond deserved. I wholeheartedly know the superficial is just that, superficial.
`the poor decision to live beyond my means due to social pressures
Exploration: I am a very poor (financially) graduate student living with her parents. Most of the reasoning behind this is the mere fact that my money management skills up until the age of 25 were essentially non-existent. I’ve got a good plan on how to remedy this and have started to do so. I will say I’m proud of that. But at the same time, I still, at times, find myself pretending that I can afford an expensive dress or need that pair of shoes or can pay for everyone’s drinks or need to go out twice a week. Truth is, that’s some bullshh. Acknowledging that doesn’t make me less than my peers, even if some stick their nose up at me for not having the everyone-needs-an-iPad-iPhone-because-imasnob mentality.
Final thoughts (Jerry Springer style): If you’re older than 25, I recommend letting go of excuses that hold you back, of poor decisions you can blame on external sources, of blame and guilt and any other unhelpful emotion that isn’t allowing you live as fully (and happily) as you may have the potential for. And, if you’re under 25, you probably got some time before you reach the quota on “I was young” excuse so use ‘em while you got ‘em…or don’t and get a kick-start on what us older folks are working on
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – J. Rohn
note to self: happy birthday, Clouds. i’m proud of you for the changes you will make this year and maintain moving forward,
just maybe don’t forget to sleep…and cha-cha 🙂