My 30 year old self has been reflecting on what I feel like I ‘should’ do or where I ‘should’ be at my age (I know, I know, I’m not that old, but still). I didn’t think much about time (or how it might be limited) in my twenties, but there are certain societal pressures to ‘be somewhere’ or achieve something at a certain age, whether real or imagined. I had a moment while running in Central Park where I realized it’s not about what I should do, but what I can do.
Should is limiting and defeating. Plus, I’m the only one who can determine what is right for me. Just because I’m thirty doesn’t mean that I should be anywhere. I feel like I should have this stable and fulfilling career, be married, have children, and basically have my life figured out. Maybe I will have those things some day, but not right now.
I also don’t want to forget what I have done. I’ve overcome addiction, eating disorders, made peace with who I am, my body & curly hair, questioned all my beliefs, traveled around the world, climbed the corporate ladder, quit my corporate job, moved multiple times solo, I’ve loved deeply, walked away from things I’ve loved because they weren’t good for me, started a blog, climbed mountains, ran marathons, lost a job, and become a certified yoga teacher. Considering I grew up in an alcoholic home & my future was bleak as a teenager, I don’t want to lose sight of what I’ve done.
So, what can I do? Can I be happy with what I have right now? I can is so empowering and freeing. I have so many choices, and the freedom to decide what is best for me, which is exciting but also daunting. I can go anywhere in the world, or I can stay in place. I’m applying to some of the top public health programs in the US (let’s be real, I’m dreaming of Harvard) and will go wherever I get into. In the meantime, I’m complementing fulfilling my dream of living abroad…big decisions. More to come!