In ten days I turn 31.
And this is what I’ve learned after 30 years and 50 weeks of being with myself 24/7: I’m good at doing, not so good at being. When I resolve to do something or change a thing, I make it happen. In high school, I decided that I wanted to lose weight. Within two years, I went from a size 24 to a size 10. When I was 22, I decided that I wanted a college degree; I graduated with my bachelor’s at 26 and my Masters at 28. Getting a job, finding a home, adopting a puppy: I make [stuff] happen.
What I’ve learned, though, is that life isn’t all about setting goals and accomplishing them. Losing weight, for example, isn’t the beginning and end of good health—nor is it the answer to struggles with body image. Buying a house isn’t the same as making a home. Planning a wedding isn’t the same as creating a marriage.
So here I am, almost 31. I have a house I really like, a fiance I’m pretty darn fond of, an adorable puppy, and a career I chose in a city I love. (Cue the closing credits, right?) My brain has been humming for weeks: What’s next, what’s next, what’s next???
Here’s what is next: NOTHING. Nothing goal oriented, anyway. Instead, I’m going to take my time and make my house the home I want it to be. I’m going to enjoy every afternoon with my puppy and watch her get bigger (and bigger…and bigger…she is a Great Dane, after all). I’m excited about having a wedding, but I’m much more excited about spending the day with my loved ones and continuing to create a life and a family with my fiancé. I’m focused on being a professional—not on how to become one. I’ve signed up for a yoga class and I want to take horseback riding lessons and walk my dog—in other words, I want to enjoy my body for its own sake with no focus on some numbers on a scale.
Maybe this will all work beautifully—a semi orchestrated balancing act of creating a happy life. Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll be on to the nextnextnext thing before I know it. Or maybe I’ll sit back and relax into what is looking like my best decade yet.