Today is my birthday and I am 25 years old.
So that means I can do whatever I want in this post.
(Because who doesn’t do this on their birthday? Source)
(Or this, for that matter… Source)
But don’t worry. I have some thoughts to share too, now that I am a whole quarter century old.
Actually, the truth is that I have a list. Because at the end of the night, while I sit here in my apartment (with my shiny new wifi!) I realize there is so much that I don’t know. Karen Perry over at Mended Musings wrote a post recently about 20-somethings and all we think we know that we don’t. All of our brash self-confidence. I took this to heart. This is true. I am brashly, brazenly self-confident sometimes. And as Karen so nicely points out, I don’t know everything. Even if I behave like I know it all (sorry to all of you who have experienced this firsthand!). So I decided to make a list of some things that I would like to learn. Considering that I am 25 today, I figure making a list of 25 things is rather appropriate.
1.How to continue maintaining a sober life.
-Considering that I am sober from 2 addictions, I want to continue learning how to live a sober life. I am definitely NOT an expert on this one.
2. How to let go of making sure everyone else is okay, ALL THE TIME.
-Now, I realize this is a life-long proposition. I am not going to learn this in a day. But I don’t have to be in charge of constantly making sure everyone else is okay. That is not my job. I may have learned it darn well in my family, but that’s not a behavior I want to talk into the rest of my adult life.
3. How to forgive, but still have boundaries.
-Also easier said than done. But I don’t want to be a permeable membrane, as I am apt to do. I want to soften my heart towards people, yet still be clear and aware of when I need to set up limits. It’s a hard, hard thing to maintain.
4. How to let go of perfectionism.
-Also a long-term commitment. My pledge with this is to be more and more compassionate with myself as I make mistakes, instead of having a harsh, punishing viewpoint. One little piece at a time, though.
5. How to believe I’m not a bother.
-One of my most deeply ingrained beliefs? I am a bother. I should not ask for what I want because it’s bothersome and it won’t be done anyway. I should be very, very small. Unseen, almost. Creeping around on the edges of life. NO! I will not accept this anymore! However, neither will I spew myself all over everyone ingloriously like I did while I was drunk. Nope… what I want is to learn to courageously voice what I need and want, and to believe my truth is valuable and treat it as such. (which does not include verbal vomiting it over everyone when I’m hammered)
6. How to have good boundaries.
-I know something about this. I’ve been working on this one for about… oh, 3 years now. Am I good at it? Ha. No. I hate conflict. So I avoid boundaries like the plague sometimes because I believe they will cause conflict. I would like to change this belief.
7. How to handle conflict without completely losing it and thinking I will be abandoned.
-At the bottom of every conflict is the idea that you will leave me forever. I would really enjoy learning how to have conflict in which I learn how to trust someone’s continued presence (or to be okay if they leave).
8. How to meditate.
-Also a work in progress. I meditate almost every morning and night. I miss some in between (see no. 3… working on letting that be). I know a few things about it. I do breath meditation, mostly. Sometimes I meditate with a mantra – “Om shanthi.” My biggest goal though is to be in more silence and less thinking.
9. How to be an effective therapist.
-I may be a psychology B.A., but I am not a licensed counselor and won’t be until after a Master’s degree. So this is something I need to learn skills in. 🙂
10. How to date like an adult.
-As a love addict, I have never had this one down. Me and my ex-husband never really dated, per se. We hung out. I am not down for that anymore. At least, not at first. I want the classic dating experience, and I would like to know how to do that. I’ve spent the last almost 2 years learning. Now just for some practice…
11. How to behave with a bit more selflessness.
-Believe it or not, I have it turned to the Laurie channel over here about 3/4 of the day. I’d like to try and give up another slice of that pie to someone else’s mind and thoughts.
12. How to speak another language!
-I think it’s unforgivable that Americans only learn English. Therefore, I am breaking the mold and want to learn several other languages. I’m starting with Spanish, because it’s the most marketable AND will probably be the easiest for me to learn. Thereafter, I want to learn Arabic, Turkish, French, Italian, and Icelandic. I am certainly ambitious, but hey. I hopefully have at least another 50 years to take this on.
13. How to be a good wife.
-After being married once and learning some ways not to be, I would like to try it again. This time, I have no fantasies about how easy of a road it would be. I know it will be hard. But worth it? Most likely. So I’d like to try.
14. How to lose my fear of economic insecurity.
-I am in constant fear over my finances. I want to be at peace. Working on that by doing the steps… but hopefully I can do some other things as well.
15. How to write and publish a memoir.
-Also in progress. I will admit this loud and clear: I have NO IDEA HOW TO STRUCTURE THINGS. And learning is hard. It’s a swift kick in the ass. But I want to figure it out.
16. How to be a good mom.
-I definitely don’t have this figured out, and I didn’t have a good model (as my mom would also freely admit to you). However, I don’t think I could get to age 50 and not have had children. I think something in me would deeply regret that. So, being a good mom is something I definitely don’t know how to do, and would like to learn.
17. How to backpack.
-I am an avid hiker. The next step for me would be learning how to backpack, which I think sounds like the most fun ever. Staying outside overnight? Sign me up!! Do I know ANYTHING about backpacking? No… I almost don’t know enough about hiking haha. Just barely enough to be smart (like that one time I got 3/4 of the way up a 13,000ft mountain and had only 6oz of water on me for sustenance… yeah…).
18.How to travel well.
-I’ve had some issues with culture shock my last couple trips. I am not sure what happened. But I’d like to learn how to effectively deal with whatever is triggering my culture shock issues, issues I never had until I went to Turkey with my ex-husband in 2011.
19. How to use an Aeropress.
-Yes, I, the coffee guru and barista extraordinaire, do not know how to use one of these:
20. How to travel to Antarctica (without getting drunk).
-The disclaimer is because I’ve heard the only thing TO do in Antarctica is to drink. Now just to find a sober girlfriend to go with so I have someone else to not drink with. And also I have no idea how to get to Antarctica so this is relevant.
21. How to start a literary group.
-I really need people in my town to talk about literary, intellectual things. I know people exist that want to talk about these things. I want to talk about books by Rilke, Hafiz, Rumi, Neruda, Whitman… all of those. And what we think and learn from them. So I guess a mystical poetry group, then. Yeah. I need to know how to find people who also want to actively be in this group. It would be ideal if they were also my age… I don’t know ANYONE my age who talks about these things and it’s driving me crazy. (not that I don’t love all of you other people NOT my age who actually do like these things, I do… but yeah)
22. How to grow my own food.
-In my heart, I am an obnoxious vegan. I watched a video of animals being kept in inhumane conditions yesterday. And I cried. However, my actions don’t always match my passion. I’m sorry, dear animals. I did eat fish tonight for my birthday. I do mostly eat vegetarian, but honestly, I would feel so much better about my food if I could actually grow it. I want to learn how to do this and how to create a sustainable garden (with compost and all).
23. How to do energy work.
-I recently had some energy work done. And to be truthful, I knew that I could learn to do it, too. I am a deeply intuitive person. As the work was being done, I could see it happening. That’s the best way I have to explain it. My eyes were closed, but I could see each dimension as they were mentioned and had a clear picture of each. I constantly “see things” behind my closed eyes that are completely real. I saw when my great-uncle visited me the night he died, to say goodbye, for instance. I also consistently know things about people before they tell me and I am really in touch with people’s energy – whether they are growing or stagnant. Because of this I really think I’d like to learn how to do energy work – in a clean, helpful way.
24. How to become an accomplished, flexible yogi.
-I have been really bad with keeping up with my yoga habit. However, it’s something that brings me inner peace and balance. I would like to become better at it. I’d like to improve my postures. I would really like to learn how to do headstands. 🙂
And last but not least, 25.
I want to learn unabashed audacity. I want to live in full spectrums of color, with abandon. I want to defy gravity.
Thank you to all of you, my lovely readers… Some of you have become dear friends, and I know my life would not be the same without you. I’m so grateful to each of you for following this little space on the internet!