On Saturday morning I stumbled upon a Thought Catalog article about what you’re “supposed” to do before you turn thirty. Given my 30 Before 30 list (what’s on it as well as the general motivation behind it), I was intrigued.
This read came at an interesting point in my life. In fact, this particular quote is something that I’ve been grappling with the last few weeks: “… it’s so easy to feel like everything I’ve done only means something to me. Like I have yet to be impressive, yet to make an impact.”
Does anyone else feel me?!
I’ve been having lots of conversations lately about how, although I’m busy and feel like I’m leading a fulfilling life, I also feel like it’s very me focused. Working out. Spending time with Hurley/family/friends. Exploring Lincoln. Blogging. Reading. It feels like what I’m doing isn’t that substantial. Even my volunteer work doesn’t make me feel like I’m giving back to the degree that I can and should be (though I’ll have more updates on that later!).
So I did exactly what the author suspected:
If you’re anything like me you’re sitting there beginning to list your accomplishments, heroic moments, and obstacles you’ve overcome in the last year. Stop. Here’s the shocker. No matter what schools and business tell us about how important a resume is, we shouldn’t have to make a mental list of our accomplishments to remind ourselves we’re doing well in life. Living shouldn’t be about making a wonderful resume of life experiences; it’s about what you get out of them.
I admit I fall in that trap all too often. It feels like I need to be adding more accomplishments or life experiences to that list. Travel the world! Take more community education classes! Attend more meetup groups! It starts to feel like a lot of pressure, albeit internal, that doesn’t result in much satisfaction. At least not right now when I feel like my plate is rather full.
But our twenties are so far from being the end of it all, so let’s not wear ourselves out, or drown in bank account debt because of what we’re “supposed” to be doing. Sometimes I learn more sitting with a mug of tea talking to my girlfriends than I could meeting crazy strangers and traveling the world.
It’s also important to remind myself that everyone craves different life experiences and priorities fluctuate. And different doesn’t mean better or worse. It’s just different.
In some ways it boils down to the notion that comparison is the thief of joy. (Even though I know that, it’s not quite engrained in my head… Still working on that one.) I’m quick to feel jealous of the people who were profiled for all their meaningful work in the alumni magazine I got last week and of those with fantastic traveling/wedding/baby photos on Facebook. It starts to feel like my life isn’t much to write home about.
But the bottom line is that I like my life as it is now. I’ve gone through a lot of struggles and hard work to get to where I’m at, and at the end of the day, I’m happy. Who cares if I don’t constantly or routinely advance my resume or list of life experiences? I fall asleep with a sore body (love me some BodyPump!), a happy dog and a tired mind. Does it really get much better than that?
(Although I suppose that’s kind of like listing accomplishments. Like I said, it’s something I’m still working on…)