Things I thought I’d know by now

My 31st birthday is just around the corner, so I’ve been feeling a little reflective lately. An alternate title for this post was: things I’m still learning. And there are lots. And lots. Here are a few of the things I thought I’d have figured out by the time I was in my 30s:

(still early 30’s though, so maybe there’s still hope for me?)

  1. Exercise: I’ve never been a huge fan of it. I was never in any sports growing up, PE was my least favorite subject. But I thought as an adult I’d find a groove, either by somehow magically not needing to exercise (ha- wishful thinking) or by somehow magically developing a love for physical activity. Neither one of these things has happened. Shocking, I know. And its finally dawning on me how important to my overall health exercise is. So I’m just now struggling to find what works for me. It is not: running, jumping, dancing, or every-day yoga. Although I do love yoga, every day of any thing bores me to tears.
  2. What I want to be when I grow up: I’m an adult with a husband and children to care for, I have bills and an RRSP, I have a college degree, I worked as an SLPA. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Ironic, no?
  3. How to get rid of my monthly hormonal breakouts: they told me I’d likely grow out of my acne problems after puberty. Nope. I still break out, no matter what I do. Ever. Single. Month.
  4. How to choose meaningful activities over mindless ones: I know deep down that things like reading, writing, playing games with my husband, working on a personal project, etc are all more productive and fulfilling activities than say binge-watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling Instagram and Facebook. And yet, I still find myself doing (and then regretting) these mindless activities over and over again.
  5. How to be confident: when I was in high school I assumed that by the time I was an adult I’d have learned more confidence in myself. That I’d be able to interact and engage with all sorts of people without feeling nervous or shy, that I’d be immune to what other people thought of me. The truth is I often still feel like that awkward, self-conscious teenage girl who was worried about fitting it and what the cool kids thought of her. I’m just better at hiding it. (I hope.)

However, here are a few things I have learned:

  1. Regular exercise makes me happy. It gives me confidence and self-acceptance. It helps me love and appreciate the body I have, rather than looking in the mirror and seeing all my faults. When I am exercising regularly I like actually like the body I have (regardless of the number on the scale), I appreciate it more, and I feed it better too.
  2. I have a hunger for knowledge, a need to pursue and seek after it. When I’m not doing this I feel stagnant. Whether I get this from reading a book, watching a documentary, taking a class, traveling, or pursuing a new hobby I need to satiate this hunger to feel happy and fulfilled.
  3. To trust my instincts, especially my mothering ones. Its really hard for me not to over-analyze and research every decision, weigh in what everyone in my life has to say about something, but when I do this every article I’ve read or everything someone else has said to me drowns out my inner voice. And my own instincts are usually spot on.
  4. I’ve learned that there a few things that I’m good at (like seeing an issue from multiple perspectives), and lots of things that I’m not (like following a budget). But that’s okay, nobody is good at everything. And just because my talents are less visible and obvious doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

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