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hard truths of the early 30s

With eight weeks left in my early* 30s, it feels like a good time to reflect on the past ~3 years.

  1. You’ll break your 30s into three-year chunks because it makes you feel life you can leave parts of the decade behind so you can do better when the next three years come.
  2. You’ll accomplish some things. Like finally finishing that degree. Or buying a home.
    1. You might even be the only gal you know who bought that home on her own.
  3. Anxiety is real. It can be vicious and it is real.
    1. For me, it feel like a giant constrictor is squeezing the life out of me. Everything that goes with that, from the hot/cold sweats, the GI upset, the difficulty breathing, and the pounding head, I get it.
    2. It messes with your sense of accomplishment. You can (quite literally) buy a home and finish a degree, but anxiety will tell you it’s not enough.
    3. It messes with your chemistry. You always feel like you’re on shaky ground and your saturation point for all of the things is drastically reduced.
  4. Heartbreak sucks. But being disappointed in yourself sucks more.
    1. You’ve learned what’s not worth sticking around for.
    2. You’ve learned what’s not acceptable.
    3. You’ve learned what you’ll tolerate and what your hard standards are.
      1. Sometimes, you’ll end up having those standards pushed against because you’re not willing to put your foot down over the acceptable and tolerable. But you’ll learn from this, too.
  5. The cats (mostly just Henry, if we’re being honest) are just preparing you for motherhood one day.
    1. When they are difficult, they are just testing you.
    2. When they love you with their little ridiculous faces, you’ll forget about how they were testing you.
  6. Netflix has a really strong siren song. You’re maybe a little bit weak on this one.
    1. You’ll wish it was the gym with that siren call, but you’ll also learn …
  7. That it doesn’t hurt the day after, but two days after. And more intensely.
    1. Age tricks you into thinking that you can do it! Your body disagrees a little bit 48 hours later. But you inherently know that if you kept up with the being active, the recovery would be so, so much easier.
    2. You’re willing to admit you don’t like putting in the work and that you long for the days of ballet.
  8. You’re going to lose people. And that sucks. And it will make you question your life a little bit, but you’ll recognize that you’re in a good place and that the little bit of darkness that you feel from time to time will pass.
  9. But most importantly, you’ll question “best before dates” not because you’re a risk taker, but because you’ll uncover a strong need to convince yourself you don’t have a best before date. Now excuse me while I make a tray of blueberry-rhubarb oatmeal muffin bread.

 

Post-script: The muffin bread is delicious. And so far, not poison.

 

* The early 30s constitute the years 31-33, mid 30s the years 34-36, late 30s the years 37-39, because when you’re 30 you’re 30 and when you hit 40, well, that’s a new decade.

how do you learn?

I’m a book learner. (Surprise, surprise!) But not in the “read it-got it” kind of way. In the “I love traditional learning environments (e.g. the classroom)” kind of way.

Even when I’ve felt out of place because of the content (difficulty, language, etc.) of a class, I’ve always felt at home in the classroom. When my mind is engaged and I’m surrounded by people who are able to engage collectively and take home information individually, I’m at peace. I’m content.

I’m content when I’m learning. But sometimes “on the job” or “life experience” just doesn’t do it for me. Sometimes, I crave a course syllabus, left stapled and three-hole-punched, a pack of highlighters, and a coil-bound notebook. Sometimes, I need to get my geek on in a classroom of strangers.

And when I leave at the end of the hour (or as the case may be right now, three hours) I feel somehow more whole. It’s how I learn best. Surrounded by other brains, as if by osmosis.

uninspired

I am in a rut. So I decided to go on a wild Google chase to see what literature exists out there on being uninspired.

Lifehack posted about it and while I was scrolling through their article, this popped up:

It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.

Of course it was the prompt to sign up for their newsletter, so I skipped on by (on account of having too many newsletter subscriptions as it stands).

They listed twelve things that uninspired people do. If I’m being honest, I’m guilty of about 5 & 1/2 of those twelve things.

  1. They try to get through the day instead of getting something from the day.* (So guilty.)
  2. They seek entertainment instead of development.
  3. They focus on what is wrong instead of what is right.* (I want to be a “glass half-full” person, but I’m thirsty.)
  4. “What if…?” isn’t in their vocabulary. (This is the thirsty I’m talking about. I “what if” myself to death sometimes.)
  5. They see what they can get away with, instead of what they can do.* (I know what I can do, but I’m not inspired to do it.)
  6. They focus on today only and don’t think about tomorrow.
  7. They seek followers that are also uninspired.
  8. They seek activity over accomplishments.* (I get bored, and stuck in the “what if” cycle.)
  9. They do what is easy. (I do hard things, too, but when feeling uninspired, easy is easy.)
  10. They want something handed to them.* (Seriously, please just ONCE?)
  11. They care more about what’s in it for them than the good of all.
  12. They make excuses instead of taking action.* (See note about the easy stuff. Change is hard.)

extroverted work?

Somewhere in my journey, I thought it would be a good idea to get into events. Some ten or so years later, I’m still plunking away in the field, but have moved from small fundraisers, to seniors’ recreation, to large fundraisers and campaigns, to continuing professional development (and back to small fundraisers). And, more and more, I’ve come to accept my true, introverted nature.

It’s a work-life balance.

confessions of an infj

“Some people underestimate how erotic it is to be understood.” Mary Rakow, novelist

As an INFJ, I don’t fit in. Around feelers I’m too analytical. Around thinkers I’m too sensitive.

It leaves me somewhere in the middle, all alone. And while alone usually recharges me, being misunderstood frustrates me. And being frustrated drains me.

musings on 2017 (Q1)

As we fly into Q2 of 2017 (seriously, where has the year gone?), I’m falling prey to impostor syndrome. And I can’t help but wonder if part of this niggly feeling can be attributed to being an INFJ.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading since the new year began and, while it’s not all personal/professional development-related, a good portion of it has offered some insight into who I am. And although the “big happening” hasn’t yet happened, the self-discovery is underway and on schedule to continue on through the rest of 2017.

 

 


Thoughts from 2016-12-30:
Have you ever found yourself at the close of a year thinking, I feel like something big is going to happen next year …

The last time I had one of those feelings, I was sitting in my room struggling through an assignment while the not-yet-ex drank and gamed the night away. I’d wanted to go check out the local festivities [because I hadn’t been out to an Edmonton celebration (I still haven’t)], but that wasn’t something he was interested in doing so we stayed home. Like usual, but that’s a whole different story I’m not sure I’m ready to expose to the world.

So, here I sit two years later—taking a break from a different course assignment—with a similar feeling of, I think that next year might be a big year. Well, the last time I thought these things, “next year” was 2015, a couple months later I was single and another couple months later I was a homeowner. Neither of which I had really anticipated would be things that I’d be experiencing in that year.

And I’m really not sure what to expect for 2017, but there are a couple things that might be equally as exciting and “big” … but I’ll wait to let the year play out on its own in another year of self-discovery.